It is only with reading, discussing, and using a range of different stones from different strata and different mines, that you can begin to grasp the beautiful complexity and understanding of how tennen toishi differ and behave. It's earthy, wet, and mineral-rich in the smell. When sharpening cutlery, a mid-range stone for razors may be an apt finisher for a knife. If you would like to learn more about specific strata, please feel free to contact us. You cannot talk about Japanese knives without talking about Japanese natural stones (tennen toishi). They will develop a decent bit of mud rather quickly. This Igarashi is likely a newer stone sourced from one of these newer mines, or from a fairly exhausted mine in Kasabori proper, as it isn’t as efficient as my other Igarashi which is an older example from Kasabori, for sure. I was able to get past the inefficiency my second time around by soaking the stone as I mentioned previously, thus loosening up the matrix and making the stone a bit softer, and more efficient. This is my all time favorites stone in the 800-2000 grit range. Although it is more important to find a stone that works for your needs and preferences regardless of where it is from, or how it looks, it can be very helpful to understand how they are defined, as stones from different mines, strata, colors, and patterns are thought by many to be superior in one way or another than others, and create high demand, and thus prices, for certains stones. What makes Japan’s stones so unique and famous is its unique geography and tectonic history. They are equally muddy, about the same in terms of hardness (a little softer actually, but close), and about the same in terms of finish. PHONE 310-399-0300HOURS Monday-Wednesday & Friday 11:00am-6:00 pm, Saturday & Sunday 12:00pm-5:00pm, The store will remain closed to customers, but we have non-contact pickup and drop-off. Natural stones from this region are rich in silica, which acts as a main abrasive. The terranes sat ontop of the Pacific tectonic plate for millions and millions of years, building up more sediment, and undergoing metamorphism under pressure, heat, and other natural elements. I have found them to leave a slightly smoother looking finish, and a bit more contrast on kasumi finishes. If a stone has any inclusions or toxic lines, it will be stated in that particular stones description, otherwise there are none. The terranes were formed mainly from metamorphic sedimentary deposits of topsoil, clay, silica, and radialaria. The mountain, or mine, along with the strata, and the subtle differences exhibited by different veins within those strata, are typically where the stones get their names. I constantly had to watch my water management, and often whip up a slurry to make it more aggressive. There are dozens of mines just around Kyoto, not to mention the rest of Japan. Although there are many ways to talk about and define tennen toishi, it is often easiest for beginners to get a sense of them by simply undertstanding their grit ranges (which they themselves are not always agreed upon where one grit ‘class’ ends and another begins). I actually have owned one of these for quite a while. I liked the edge a lot more than the edge on the Hisamoto Inox (really mainly a function of the superior steel), and would suggest this for veggie eaters. As cheesy as it is to say, using natural stones is like using some gem imbued with magical powers; there is nothing like it. Working up a slurry with a diamond plate helps, but it too can dry out, which is why I like to saturate it before use and then whip up a slurry with a plate. Wow, isn’t that a mouthful? The Gesshin™ 2000 Grit Sharpening Stone is an awesome naka toishi (medium grit stone). Conclusion: This ‘normal’ Igarashi is, well, pretty average. It should be noted that the orders of the terms, color, pattern, strata, even mine order can be interchangable depending on who writes it, so you should try not to get too caught up in the order of words. They will develop a decent bit of mud rather quickly. Stone Session coming soon... Blue Aizu. As I mentioned in the intro, my stones aren’t a perfect representative for all stones of the same type, but I simply can’t imagine setting bevels on this as some sharpeners have said they’ve done. Nakayama; their color if notable, eg. The steel was much more responsive to the stone, and I presoaked before use. They typically range from ~300-<1000 grit, and are ideal for chip removal, bevel setting, or even slight profile alterations. We offer a variety of knife-related services... click below for more info. We’ve also had out supplier mount these on bases for added stability and protection over time. While considering options to replace our dwindling stock of takashima awasedo, we decided to introduce these as well. A terrane is an area of land on or around a fault boundry with its own unique geological history and stratigraphy. This softness on top of the firm stone makes for an unusual feedback that I like to go back to every now and then when I want to experience something different feedback-wise. Iromono - 色物 Typically specced at around 1-2k grit, it yields a fairly toothy finish. Natural stones from this region are rich in silica, which acts as a main abrasive. Add in the beauty of ara-toishi, and I often find myself reaching for them when I'm doing light repairs or bevel setting on high quality steel. I have found them to leave a slightly smoother looking finish, and a bit more contrast on kasumi finishes. Strata, which is where we take our name from, are layers of rock that contain certain ‘classes’ of stones. Funny enough, as mentioned earlier, the location and type of stone, etc can impact its price, and this Nakayama kiita example is one of the most sought after tennen toishi in the world, and can sell for thousands of dollars depending on its condition. If you’ve got mainly shirogami knives, than this is a great natural stone to start with, as it will get your knives sharp and do it cheaply and easily. This large monzento has the most intense smell of the new stones we just got it. Thankfully the Igarashi is a very approachable stone, so the extra time I spent on the stone was easy enough, and I wasn’t worried about making any mistakes. This is a great place to start if you're looking to have a very strong kasumi when you get to your finishing stone. I actually have owned one of these for quite a while. After the Pacific plate hit, and started moving under the Asian plate, the terranes were essentially scraped off the Pacific plate, and moved over the solid bedrock which was forming into the mountains and valleys that are now present day Honshu, and settling around present day Kyoto. It is a bit porous and soaks in a decent bit of water, but should still be used as a splash and go stone. Some users use it for a kasumi finish, or even use it to create or refine small bevels. Want us to take care of initial sharpening? Not all mines have all the same strata, ie, you cannot expect to go from one mine, start digging, and expect to find they exact number of present strata from another mine from a different mountain or area (these are natural stones, after all). It finishes somewhere around 8k for the most part, which still provides a bit of bite despite the higher grit rating. This term refers to Japanese natural whetstones that are homogenous, without any layering. It finishes somewhere around 8k for the most part, which still provides a bit of bite despite the higher grit rating. We touch on such below. Stone Session coming soon... Kouzaki Blue Aoto. As an added pleasure, this stone releases a strong and pleasant fragrance when used. I was able to achieve very nice contrast and beautiful and even looking kasumi finishes on a wide variety of knives and steel types. The results are similar to what I have come to expect from the natural stones I like for kitchen knives. Notify me when this product is available: This particular awasedo from the Hideriyama was recommended to us by one of our natural stone dealers.