Sakai Takayuki Sashimi Yanagiba Knife, Aonikou, 240mm / 9.5" The perfect choice for someone looking for a traditional real Japanese Yanagiba made in the traditional manner out of the highest grade Japanese carbon steel: Aonikou, or Ao-Ko, known in English as blue-2 steel, from the Hitachi Yasuki-works. This steel is a high carbon steel alloy, with chromium and tungsten for increased toughness and durability (making it somewhat less fragile than the "white" steels for example). This steel is also called Aogami or Ao-Ko II in Japanese. Hardness is at least HRC 60. This is a beautiful and high quality pro-grade knife. Crafted with expert precision by hand and then finished by by hand by a finishing master. This is a great opportunity to get a REAL Japanese knife handmade by real Japanese master craftsmen -- these are NOT assembly-line factory made knives! Own a piece of history as this ancient art is slowly becoming lost to robots and factories and cheap/low-end assembly and materials. Features a real wooden handle, and a beautiful natural horn bolster. Note: the colour of the horn bolster may vary from the photo... it's a natural material with variations from dark to light, and with varying levels of colours and patterns sometimes even within the same piece. Only for right-hand use. Comes packed in a beautiful gift box. Again, this is CARBON steel, NOT stainless, so you must know how to care of it and keep it away from acidic foods that can stain or discolour it, and keep it away from excess humidity to avoid rusting. Of course it's for right-hand use only (sharpened only on the right side), and requires good maintenance and care for a lifetime or service. It's not rocket science to care for a knife, but a knife like this, like a high performance sports car, does require more care than your standard German stainless steel and plastic chef's knife! Being made of very hard carbon steel, this knife WILL be more fragile than other knives, especially stainless steel knives, and as such you are responsible for proper knife handling and care -- edge damage is never covered under any warranty.