“Hou-cho” is a sword of “Houtei”

Kitchen knife is called “Hou-cho” in Japanese. The word originally came from China and means “a sword of Houtei”. “Houtei” is the name of the legendary Chinese cook existed more than 2000 years ago according to the Chinese old Taoist book “Zhuangzi”.

There is a legend that “Houtei” handled his knife skillfully and slaughtered thousands of cattle without breaking or chipping the blade, and even without sharpening it for decades.

With respect to “Houtei”, its name had somehow passed on for thousands of years and long way from China to Japan. But what interesting is, the word “Houtei” or ”Hou-cho” is not used in the present China, they are now only used by Japanese language.

Original Development of Japanese kitchen knives

Since the Stone Age, whether stone, steel or ceramics, knives have been indispensable tools for human beings.

The oldest kitchen knives found in Japan is from the Nara period (718-784 A.D.), which are now saved and kept in “Shosoin”, the treasure house belongs to the Todaiji Temple in Nara Prefecture.

They look like primitive Japanese swords. That type of knives was used until the beginning of 17th century, and they were then improved to modern type after that. Japanese knives such as “Deba” ”Yanagiba” and ”Nakiri” are the creations from this modern era.

In the mid-17th century, as soon as Japanese government lifted the foreign relations policy of locking the country, various goods and culture started coming into Japan. The western chef knives were brought in this period and quickly spread and accepted by Japanese people.

In the modern times, around mid 1900s, Japanese took advantages of western chef knife and traditional Japanese knife, and innovated “Santoku” knife. Santoku is now recognized worldwide.

Today Japanese kitchen knives are known as high quality, and also skillful technique behind that is well recognized. As a matter of fact, some Japanese knife manufacturers is producing the flagship models of the other well-known knife manufacturers in overseas.

Fujitora Industry is currently putting great deal of effort into export, and our quality, sharpness and sophisticated design are highly recognized by many users all over the world.