Shimomura Kougyou (Tsubame-Sanjo)
下村工業 (Shimomura Kougyou) has been producing kitchen knives and other metal products for almost 70 years. They're specialized in high quality kitchen knives.
- 1874: Eizo Shimomura starts an iron smithy in the village of Sanjo (Niigata province).
- 1937: Eizo Shimomura Ⅱ (grandson of Eizo Shimomura) started making sickles for the rice harvest
- 1945: Start of the production of hand-forged knives.
- 1956: Start of the production of stainless steel knives
- 1959: Start of the production of other kitchen utensils
- 1966: First large factory is being built in Sanjo
- 1977: Production of razors for electric razors
- 1979: Shimomura Kihan co., Ltd. founded in Tsubame
- 1986: 2nd factory for plastic kitchen products opened in Sanjo
- 2001: Start production of metal precision instruments
Shimomura produces the Verdun knives which are known for their excellent price / quality ratio. The Verdun knives are made with Japanese steel (stainless molybdenum vanadium) with a hardness of 57-58 Rockwell and therefore remain sharp for longer than comparable (often more expensive) knives. Also these knives do not suffer from hygiene problems, because there are no pits in the handle.
The metal industry in the small village of Tsubame Sanjo is very well known. The history of the smithies in Sanjo can be traced back to the year 1625 (more than 390 years ago). Before 1625 the area around Sanjo area was a rural area with a lot of nuisance from frequent flooding of the Ikarashi River.
The governor of the time of the "Seibei OTANI" area wanted to develop the area further. He invited some nail producers from Tokyo to start a smithy in Sanjo. In addition, he raised many dams that protected the area from the floods and served to irrigate rice fields. At this moment, the metal industry in Sanjo is known for its production of specific types of steel for kitchen knives. The best and sharpest nail clippers come from here (produced by Maruto Hasegawa Kosakujo Inc).
Shimorura has developed several knife series like Kenmizaki Satomi, Daimon-ya, Sakura-yui and Teruhide.