Pocket knives(Higonokami)

The original Higonokami knives are exclusively manufactured in the Kanekoma forge by Motosuke Nagao (Miki), descending from four generations of blacksmiths. Motosuke Nagao is now quite old and his succession is not guaranteed. There is a danger that the real Higonokami knives will disappear. The "Higo" knives with a Samurai figure on the blade are fine knives but formally no "real" Higonokamis. 

Higonokami

A Higonokami pocket knife was traditionally used for small jobs in and around the house, to peel an apple, to sharpen pencils, during camping trips, etc. Actually it is the "Opinel" of Japan but made of a superior steel type. The blade is slightly curved and is roughly finished at the top. This reinforces the traditional feeling with this knife. The steel is hand-forged and extremely hard (usually Japanese Aogami "Blue paper steel" with a Rockwell hardness of> 62), the cheaper versions are made of S55C or SK steel (60-61 HRc). These very affordable knives are made under great time pressure in only 1 small smithy and are not perfectly finished from the factory, many people choose to finish the knife at home and polish it so that it gets a personal character.

The most famous model is called "Sada Koma" and is available in four sizes small (S), medium (M), large (L) and extra large (EL). This knife has a brass handle like on the photo on the right. Other handles are for example steel, titanium or silver.

These are the characteristics of a Higonokami knife:

  • A handle made of a folded casing of brass, steel, or titanium, stamped with Japanese Kanji characters that shows the name of the maker and the steel type of the blade.
  • The presence of a Chikiri (the lever at the end of the blade) The lack of a locking system.
  • The fact that the blade completely disappears in the handle when the blade is closed. Note that the length of the blade is traditionally measured from the point to the Chikiri (lever).
  • The actual cutting edge is much shorter (65 mm with a 90 mm blade).

The top four characters say 登録商標 which means "registered trademark", below those is 肥後守 (higonokami). The 定 below that simply means made/customized, and the last character is 駒 (koma) which comes from "Nagao Komataro" ("Nagao" being the family name and "Komataro" the given name), who carried on his Grandfather's work. Around this character is a ᅠᄀ mark called "kane" traditionally used by craftsmen as a sort of trademark symbol. The name "kane" may or may not come from the archaic 矩 (kane) "carpenter's square" which came to be associated with tradesmen.

Here a nice explanation about the origin of these traditional pocket knives.

We only sell the knives in our range to people aged 18 and older. By ordering a knife with us, you declare to be over 18 years old!

Express shipping of pocket knives and Higonokami is not possible!

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  • -38%

    Motosuke Nagao Higonokami S55C Black
    Motosuke Nagao Higonokami S55C Black

    Motosuke Nagao Higonokami S55C black

    This Japanese Higonokami knife is made of Japanese JIS S55C high-carbon steel (non-rustproof). This double-sided sharpened knife is completely hand-forged by the only master smith who can make…

    € 16,00 € 10,00
  • -21%

    Motosuke Nagao Higonokami S55C Black -Emperor limited edition-
    Motosuke Nagao Higonokami S55C Black -Emperor limited edition-

    Motosuke Nagao Higonokami S55C black, - limited edition -

    This Japanese Higonokami knife is made from Japanese JIS S55C high-carbon steel (non-stainless). This simple but effective double-sided sharpened knife is completely…

    € 24,00 € 19,00
  • -18%

    Motosuke Nagao Higonokami S55C Chrome
    Motosuke Nagao Higonokami S55C Chrome

    Motosuke Nagao Higonokami S55C Chrome

    This Japanese Higonokami knife is made of Japanese JIS S55C high-carbon steel (non-rustproof). This double-sided sharpened knife is completely hand-forged by the only master smith who can…

    € 22,00 € 18,00
  • -11%

    Motosuke Nagao Higonokami S55C Chrome -Emperor limited edition-
    Motosuke Nagao Higonokami S55C Chrome -Emperor limited edition-

    Motosuke Nagao Higonokami S55C Chrome, - limited edition -

    This Japanese Higonokami knife is made of Japanese JIS S55C high-carbon steel (non-rustproof). This double-sided sharpened knife is completely hand-forged

    by the only…

    € 19,00 € 17,00
  • -17%

    Motosuke Nagao Higonokami SK-5 Black
    Motosuke Nagao Higonokami SK-5 Black

    Motosuke Nagao Higonokami SK-5 Black,

    This Japanese Higonokami knife is made of Japanese SK-5 carbon steel (non-stainless). This hard core steel is clamped with a softer steel type for protection. Due to the high hardness of the…

    € 24,00 € 20,00
  • Motosuke Nagao Higonokami SK-5 Chrome
    Motosuke Nagao Higonokami SK-5 Chrome

    Motosuke Nagao Higonokami Chrome

    This Japanese Higonokami knife is made from Japanese SK-5 carbon steel (non-stainless). This hard core steel is clamped with a softer steel type for protection. Due to the high hardness of the…

    € 26,00
  • Tijdelijke aanbieding!

    Motosuke Nagao Higonokami Aogami Original Brass
    Motosuke Nagao Higonokami Aogami Original Brass

    Motosuke Nagao Higonokami Original,

    This Japanese Higonokami knife has a core of Japanese Aogami # 1 "Blue paper" carbon steel (non-stainless). This double-sided sharpened knife is completely forged by the only master smith who…

    € 59,00 € 29,00
  • -20%

    Motosuke Nagao Higonokami Aogami Mizushibuki Waterdrop
    Motosuke Nagao Higonokami Aogami Mizushibuki Waterdrop

    Motosuke Nagao Higonokami with special water drop decoration,

    This Japanese Higonokami knife has a core of Japanese Aogami # 1 "Blue paper" carbon steel (non-stainless). This double-sided sharpened knife is completely forged by…

    € 49,00 € 39,00
  • New!

    Motosuke Nagao Higonokami SK Warikomi - mini - no bell
    Motosuke Nagao Higonokami SK Warikomi - mini - no bell

    Motosuke Nagao Higonokami mini.

    This Japanese Higonokami knife has a core of Japanese Warikomi SK carbon steel (non-stainless). This double-sided sharpened knife is completely hand-forged by the only master blacksmith who is…

    € 22,95
  • Motosuke Nagao Higonokami SK Warikomi - mini - with bell
    Motosuke Nagao Higonokami SK Warikomi - mini - with bell

    Motosuke Nagao Higonokami mini with bell,

    This Japanese Higonokami knife has a core of Japanese SK Warikomi carbon steel (non-stainless). This double-sided sharpened knife is completely forged by hand by the only master smith who…

    € 24,95
  • -14%

    Motosuke Nagao Higonokami Sasaba (Bamboo leaf) Black
    Motosuke Nagao Higonokami Sasaba (Bamboo leaf) Black

    Motosuke Nagao Higonokami Sasaba Black, 100 mm

    This Japanese Higonokami knife has a core of Japanese Shirogami # 2 steel (non-stainless) with a black painted brass handle. This double-sided sharpened knife is completely forged by…

    € 69,00 € 59,00
  • -14%

    Motosuke Nagao Higonokami Sasaba (Bamboo leaf) Gold
    Motosuke Nagao Higonokami Sasaba (Bamboo leaf) Gold

    Motosuke Nagao Higonokami Sasaba Brass, 100 mm

    This Japanese Higonokami knife has a core of Japanese Shirogami # 2 steel (non-stainless) with a brass handle. This double-sided sharpened knife is completely forged by hand by the…

    € 69,00 € 59,00
  • -13%

    Motosuke Nagao Higonokami Kengata (Sword Shape) Black
    Motosuke Nagao Higonokami Kengata (Sword Shape) Black

    Motosuke Nagao Higonokami Kengata Black, 100 mm

    This Japanese Higonokami knife has a core of Japanese Shirogami # 2 steel (non-stainless) with a black painted brass handle. This double-sided sharpened knife is completely forged…

    € 79,00 € 69,00
  • -13%

    Motosuke Nagao Higonokami Kengata (Sword shape) Gold
    Motosuke Nagao Higonokami Kengata (Sword shape) Gold

    Motosuke Nagao Higonokami Kengata Brass, 100 mm

    This Japanese Higonokami knife has a core of Japanese Shirogami # 2 steel (non-stainless) with a brass handle. This double-sided sharpened knife is completely forged by hand by the…

    € 79,00 € 69,00
  • Now available for pre order! (soonest shipping will be in May 2024!)

    Higonokami titanium -Fisherman’s edition-, VG-10, limited edition
    Higonokami titanium -Fisherman’s edition-, VG-10, limited edition

    Motosuke Nagao Higonokami Titanium, 55mm - only in Japan-

    This Japanese Higonokami knife has a core of Japanese VG-10 steel (stainless) with a special Titanium handle. This double-sided sharpened knife is completely hand-forged…

    € 89,00
  • Motosuke Nagao Omamori Kogatana - sword shape -
    Motosuke Nagao Omamori Kogatana - sword shape -

    Motosuke Nagao Omamori kogatana,

    This Japanese kogatana knife has a core of Japanese Aogami # 1 "Blue paper" carbon steel (non-stainless). This double-sided sharpened knife is completely hand-forged by the master blacksmith…

    € 69,00
  • -25%

    Motosuke Nagao Higonokami VG-10 Rainbow Titanium
    Motosuke Nagao Higonokami VG-10 Rainbow Titanium

    Motosuke Nagao Higonokami VG-10 with Rainbow Titanium handle 'Limited Edition'

    This Japanese Higonokami knife has a core of Japanese VG-10 steel (stainless) with a stainless steel handle. This double-sided sharpened knife is…

    € 79,00 € 59,00
  • -17%

    Motosuke Nagao Higonokami Outdoor Tsuchime  VG-10
    Motosuke Nagao Higonokami Outdoor Tsuchime VG-10

    Motosuke Nagao Higonokami VG-10 Outdoor Tsuchime 'Limited Edition'

    This now very scarce version of the well-known Japanese Higonokami knife has a core of Japanese VG-10 steel (stainless) with a matte-coated stainless steel…

    € 119,00 € 99,00
  • -13%

    Motosuke Nagao Toumaki kogatana
    Motosuke Nagao Toumaki kogatana

    Motosuke Nagao Toumaki kogatana,

    This Japanese Toumaki knife has a core of Japanese Aogami #2 "Blue paper" carbon steel (non-rustproof). This double-sided sharpened knife is completely hand-forged by the masters Motosuke Nagao.…

    € 79,00 € 69,00
  • -13%

    Motosuke Nagao Chirimen Kogatana
    Motosuke Nagao Chirimen Kogatana

    Motosuke Nagao Chirimen kogatana,

    This Japanese Chirimen kogatana knife has a core of Japanese Aogami # 1 "Blue paper" carbon steel (non-stainless). This double-sided sharpened knife is completely hand-forged by the master…

    € 69,00 € 59,95
  • Last batch!

    Osamu Tomita Higo Naifu Shiro Tsuchime -Ran Ba-, hammer forged.
    Osamu Tomita Higo Naifu Shiro Tsuchime -Ran Ba-, hammer forged.

    Tomita Higo Naifu Shiro 105 mm

    This Japanese Higo knife has a core of Japanese Shirogami # 2 "White paper" carbon steel (non-stainless) with an outer layer and handle of soft and rolled carbonsteel.

    This double-sided sharpened…

    € 175,00 € 139,00
  • Limited Edition

    Katsumoto Hoseki Higo Damascus VG-10 Brass
    Katsumoto Hoseki Higo Damascus VG-10 Brass

    Katsumoto Hoseki Higo,

    This Higo knife has a core of VG-10 steel (stainless) with a beautiful damascus outer layer. This double-sided sharpened knife is forged by hand. The blade is sturdy and manually sharpened and is very easy…

    € 45,00 € 35,00
  • -31%

    Leather Cover (Sleeve) for Higonokami and pocket knives
    Leather Cover (Sleeve) for Higonokami and pocket knives

    Handmade protective cover for Higonokami knives and pocket knives.

    Protect yourself, your clothes and your valuable knife from damage. A beautiful handmade genuine leather cover/sleeve is the solution. These leather covers from…

    € 12,95 € 8,95
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