Kikusumi story knife ceramic steel japan tokyo artisan craft design hocho knifemaker


Stories that predate us are often forgotten yet when revived can add pleasure to life in newly minted ways.  Kikusumi story begins a long time ago, it is the oldest type of charcoal made in Japan and dates back over 300,000 years.  It was widely used in everyday cooking starting way back in the Yayoi Era.  To make this type of SUMI or charcoal requires a special type of domed kiln made of earth.  Logs cut from the Japanese Kunugi (oak) tree are roasted very slowly over 12 days to prevent cracking or splintering.  It is a physically grueling process that requires both patience and precision.  There are no buttons or preset timers to control it.  A slow burning fire is the source of heat and that is managed only by shokunin’s (craftsman) judgement on the amount of fuel to use and the size of the opening in the chimney.  Once the firing process is complete, a cut through the charcoal reveals a beautiful KIKU (chrysanthemum flower) pattern.  The craft spirit that stands behind the crafting of traditional Kikusumi charcoal is the inspiration behind each Kikusumi kitchen product.  Our Kikusumi flower logo that glows red represents the moment of creation, adding an element of beauty to each product with the hope of inspiring a cook’s creativity each time it is put to use.


The Kikusumi brand began as an exploration between cooking, nature and culture.  Throughout history humans have forged tools to help cook the food they needed to survive.  Over time tool making techniques were improved and refined.  In 2014 founder Del Cook began to sketch out a series of kitchen products and tools that would combine the best of artisan craftsmanship with newly emerging technologies.  A new brand called Kikusumi was launched that would carry out this vision to both respect the past and embrace the future of cooking with a series of exclusive knives and kitchen tools designed for those who cook with passion.  The knives include a series for the home cook along with a more limited edition range for the demanding professional or connoisseur of high quality knives and finally a series of rare quality knives for the most discerning professional or collector.  Each product goes through a lengthy design process that begins with a sketch and finally emerges from the workshops of a select group of top tier manufacturers and craftsman. Skills built by tradition and enhanced by technology deliver only the highest quality products to consumers.  Kikusumi brand was launched in 2016 and continues to develop and grow its family of kitchen products and lifestyle media to inspire cooks of all levels and cultural backgrounds across our globe.


Ceramic knife blades are made out of zirconium oxide which has a hardness level second only to diamonds.  The process begins with the extraction of natural zirconium mineral from the earth which is then milled into a fine sand-like consistency.  For our Kikusumi ceramic knives we chose zirconium #4 which is the highest grade because its particles are 30% finer than any other grade of zirconium.  The choice of a premium zirconium material results in a stronger and more durable knife blade without visible flaws, chromatic aberration or micro cracks.  Not all ceramic blades are of equal quality.  Kikusumi ceramic blades have a density that is higher than 6.02 g/cm³ with 30% lower porosity than other ceramic blades.  Only the best quality goes into our blades.

Steel blades have a singular name yet are made up of multiple ingredients.  The choice of those ingredients plays a role in defining the ultimate qualities of the forged blade’s personality.  At Kikusumi we choose steels that match the design goals of the knife.  Precision, hardness, weight, resistance to rust and long lasting sharpness are just some of the considerations we take into account when choosing the steel for a Kikusumi knife.


The reason founder Del Cook chose to design kitchen tools is that over the course of his cooking career he used a lot of knives and tools in both Western and Japanese kitchens.  A lot of money and time was spent on products that didn’t work well or last long.  Disappointment led to more thorough research in an effort to come to an understanding of what makes a quality kitchen tool. He noted that was easy to fall for the charms of so called ‘Designer’ tools and equipment that look great but didn’t always function well or last long.  It’s not always easy to choose the right tools and a high price does not always signify quality.  Informed by a deep well of cooking experience he set about designing knives and kitchen tools that would bring a new level of craftsmanship and artisanal luxury to the kitchen.  They would be tools that fit the curvature of the human hand.  Tools that would look great and last longer.

Basic principals for function and aesthetics would be adhered to.  Colors should reflect the natural materials used and a logo would be only be placed to inspire the cook to explore their creativity.  Extra time and care would always be taken to ensure that products could be proudly displayed in customer’s personal kitchen.  Contemporary, elegant and high performance.  Kikusumi products make a beautiful addition the kitchen and inspire your creativity.


We’ve taken a different approach to the traditional knife supply chain in order to give consumers just what they want at a fraction of the cost of the traditional way.  Everyone likes to save some money so we found a way to help you do just that.

We are able to make a premium product and sell it at a value price because we don’t wholesale – we sell direct to our customers and pass along the savings.  We never sacrifice quality to cut costs, we just cut out the middleman between us and you.






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