Kikuichi Monjyu Shiro Kanenaga
Kikuichi has a long and impressive history. The current forge has been in the well-known "knife town" Sakai for 100 years, but the foundation of the brand started well before that. Nearly 750 years ago, the then Emperor of Japan, Emperor Gotoba, commissioned Shiro Kanenaga (the founder of Kikuichi) to become his personal swordsmith. For centuries, Kikuichi's smiths made swords for the emperors. The imperial symbol of the "Chrysanthemum" was visible on the swords and this can be seen on the blades to this day. The chrysanthemum is the national symbol of Japan. The imperial seal is a stylized chrysanthemum, and the country has a knighthood named after the flower, the Chrysanthemum Order.
Shiro Kanenaga is one of Kikuichi's distant ancestors and his name is integrated into the company's current name: Kikuichi Monjyu Shiro Kanenaga, Kikuichi: literally "First Chrysanthemum", Monjyu is the Buddha worshiped by Shiro Kanenaga in Nara, his hometown south of Osaka.