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Tsukiji Masamoto is one of Japan’s premier knife makers. Founded in 1845, they began producing cutlery in workshops located outside Tokyo. Today, the 7th-generation owner, Misao Hirano, runs his venerable business from within the city’s famed Tsukiji wholesale fish market, where he personally sells his knives to customers—over 80% of them, professional cooks, chefs or butchers. In fact, Tsukiji Masamoto knives are only available in Japan at the Tsukiji shop and through the company’s official website.
Tsukiji Masamoto knives are prized for the quality of their workmanship and materials, and are known for their durability. (Mr. Hirano likes to joke that his business is suffering because his knives have such a long lifespan, and customers mostly visit his shop for the occasional knife sharpening and fixing.)
Mr. Hirano said "Just like with cooking, even if you use the most expensive ingredients, the end result will be completely different if the chef isn't skilled. When you cook, the taste and flavor change depending on if you cook with charcoal, gas, electricity etc. Knives are the same in this manner, it all depends on the skills of the individual at tempering, honing, etc. of the finished product. The quality of the knife is determined by the skill of the production team throughout each stage of the process. Of course quality of the steel is important, but more so is the craftsmanship. With Tsukiji originals we have confidence in our craftmanship."
Beginning in 1988, Mr. Hirano began traveling to America to introduce chefs here to the quality of his knives. He continues to make annual trips to New York and Los Angeles to educate culinary professionals in knife handling, shaping and care.
Mr. Hirano's motto:
Compromising will never take me to any higher place."