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HIGONOKAMI Hand Forged Pocket Folding Friction Knife blue steel

Price: $39.99

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Higonokami is a type of folding pocket knife native to Japan, which is regarded as living fossil. This small Japanese folder is one of the oldest knife trademark still in production, is almost unchanged since its creation and is also one of the cheapest handmade on the market. It has no locking system, uses friction of the swivel or the pressure of the user's hand on a protruding tang to prevent the knife from folding during use.

The history of Higonokami knife can trace back to 1896 in Meiji era Japan when a man named Tasaburo Shigematsu brought a knife from the Kyushu province and asked a knife maker named Teji Murakami from Hirata in the Miki region to manufacture it. However, it is no success at its start, as it didn’t feature any device to lock the blade as used to be. Teiji Murakami who first had the idea to add a lever to the blade, thus giving the knife the look it still has today and ensuring its commercial success. Higonokami intertwines with the tormented history of Japan during the past two centuries.

In 1877 occurred the last battle opposing a party of rebellious samurais to the modern army of the emperor (as in the film, “the last Samurai”). Having been defeated, the samurais were little by little stripped of their privileges and lost the right to carry their swords in public places. Consequently, a lot of blacksmiths lost their main customers, had to find other incomes and started to make knives. A lot of them settled around Miki, a region with a lot of river and iron ore sands and also the historical birthplace of the higonokami. The name of the knife is a reflection of those events. “Higo no Kami” in Japanese means “Lord of Higo”. Higo is the old name of the Kyushu province, where the original knife came from mentioned earlier, but “Higo no Kami” is also an aristocratic title historically given to powerful samurais.  In these times, Matsudaira Katamori was the acting Lord of Higo; he was also the very last one. He was involved in both the Perry episode and the last battles of the samurais.

In 1907, the name “Higonokami” was trademarked. Only the members of the corporation could manufacture the knife. The tale of the Higonakami turned into a success story. Mind its simple and basic design, the knife has some outstanding qualities, it was razor sharp with a quality sanmai carbon blade, was easy to sharpen and inexpensive. It became the most popular Japanese knife, the one all the kids had in their school bags, pocket utility knife of everyday. Pencils sharpening mass contests were even organized, with rewards for the fastest. However, an unprecedented and hysterical anti knife campaign went through the country in 60’, it became forbidden to take the higonokami knife to school so for the laws. It was hard, the Higonokami almost disappeared and if it survives today it is because of knife lovers or of people nostalgic of their childhood, who kept this tale alive. Sadly, there is only one maker left in the guild who is making the genuiene Higonokami knife still.

This Higonokami knife is made by Motosuke Nagao, established in Miki, descending from four generations of blacksmiths, preserves traditional forging skills and legend of the Higo knife. This knife features a 3.5mm blade comprised of the ’3-layer sandwitch’ – hard carbon steel core surrounded by softer blue steel – all housed in a folded, sheet brass handle.

Century old design for a modern man.

• Brass handle with engraving of the trademark “Higonokami”
• Slim handle easily slips in to your pocket.
• Blue steel blade with black hammer marks.
• Forged lever tang for opening.
• With lanyard hole
• Comes with a little blue and yellow carton.
• Size:  100mm closed, blade length 85mm, thickness 3.5mm
• Made in Japan


- every piece is unique and individually hand-made, never two are ever alike.
- part of the description was extracted from British Blade Forum.

This item is strictly sold for purpose of hunting/collection etc that it is not intended to be used as a weapon.  It is buyer's sole responsibilities to ensure compliance with local laws/regulations in their jurisdiction.   All buyers warrant that they are over the age of 18 and are legally entitled to buy and possess this item in their jurisdiction.

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Generally, all orders will be shipped on the same working day upon receipt of cleared payment by received before 2pm ACST. Whilst all orders are processed and shipped as quickly as possible; Fusion Gear is not liable for any consequential losses caused by late delivery.

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Fusion Gear will send the replacement or refund to the Buyer whichever the case applies within 2 working days upon receipt of the faulty goods returned in good order that are not exhibited damage or non-functional as a result of improper use or treatment or modification beyond specification.

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