Knife Master's Profile

Knife Master's Profile CHIHARU SUGAI has always been fond of the arts, and is well known for his love of rare musical instruments such as the biwa. Thus when Korin began to carry knives, it was only natural for him to become fascinated in the dying art of knife sharpening. He understood that in order to carry Japanese knives in the United States, Korin needed someone who fully understood how to care of them as well. He first began taking knife-sharpening lessons from Suisin’s president, Junro Aoki in Sakai City. When Mr. Aoki felt that he has taught Mr. Sugai all that he knew, he directed Mr. Sugai to Sakai City’s blade making association chairman, Mr. Oda. As a blade making association chairman of the most famous knife-making city of Japan, Mr. Oda taught Mr. Sugai the basic foundations of knife sharpening. Even after several years of being taught by one of the most famous blade makers. Mr. Sugai yearned to learn more, and asked Mr. Oda to introduce him to Japan’s number one knife sharpener, Mr. Shouzou Mizuyama. Although Mr. Mizuyama has taught other knife sharpeners specific techniques, he had never taught an apprentice extensively. Regardless, Mr. Sugai received permission to watch as much he pleased, and he did just that. For three years, Mr. Sugai traveled back and forth to Japan four times a year to observe Japan’s best at work in hopes to learn as much as he possibly can. In 1999, Mr. Mizuyama recognized Mr. Sugai’s determination and accepted Mr. Sugai as his only apprentice. Under Mr. Mizuyama, he learned the true art of knife sharpening. Mr. Sugai continues to return to Japan several times a year to learn under his 84-year old grand master. He uses his extensive knowledge of knives to sharpen knives, and check the knives that Korin receives from manufacturers to ensure their quality. He also shares his knowledge with our customers by visiting the country’s leading culinary schools, and sharpens the knives of chefs from renowned restaurants such as Nobu, Bouley, Morimoto and many others.

Are you having trouble sharpening your knives? At KORIN, we can sharpen virtually any knife: Japanese or western style (except serrated knives.) Do you need an extra-sharp edge for a special event? Send your knife to Korin for a tune-up. We will sharpen them by hand, using a variety of Japanese water stones. We can put a precision edge on any knife! Prices vary from knife to knife. Traditional knives such as yanagi, usuba, and deba, require more labor and will cost slightly more to sharpen.

Cost of Knife Sharpening and Fixing
Japanese Style Sharpening: $25.00 / Fixing: $45.00 and up
Western Style Sharpening: $15.00 / Fixing: $25.00 and up

Blade Repair
If you crack or chip your blade, send it to us for repair. We use specialized mechanical water wheels imported from Japan. All knives are hand finished on water stones. Prices vary according to the type of knife and amount of repair work necessary.

How to send your knives in for sharpening/repairing
1. Print and fill out the Knife Service Request Form.
2. Wrap your knives up carefully and send it to the following address:
        Knife Sharpening/Repair Services
        Korin Japanese Trading
        57 Warren Street
        New York, NY 10007
You may also drop your knives off in person at our New York Showroom (same address as the above).
3. Please include a note with your contact information (full name, mailing address, phone number, email address)
4. Please state whether you are a left-handed or right-handed user and what you would like to be done on your knives (for example: broken tip needs repair, chip on blade needs fixing, etc.)
Our staff will contact you once we have received your knives and will inform service fee & shipping fee. Once the knives have been sharpened/repaired, we will ship it out to you and you will receive an email confirmation with the UPS tracking information.
* Our knife sharpening and repair services are available for any knives regardless of where they are from.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at 1-800-626-2172 (toll free) or 212-587-7021. You may also email us at

Left-Handed knives
Are you left-handed? We can customize the blade edges on Western-style gyutou, sujihiki and petty knives for left-handed customers. Please inquire and we'll be happy to try and meet your needs.

Custom Engraving
Personalize your knife by engraving your name or a short message on the blade! Korin can engrave a limited number of letters on the blade of your knife. You can chose up to 5 letters for Japanese style knives and 20 letters for Western style knives. This is the perfect way to personalize a gift knife or protect your valuable tools!
Price: $15.00 for a piece / $10.00 for 2pieces or more

Handle Replacement
Korin can replace old and worn handles on many traditional knives. Please call Korin for details.

Uraoshi Sharpening Service(balancing rim of the back side of the blade) for Traditional Japanese Style Knives(single edged knives)
We would like offer you our Uraoshi service upon your request when you make your knife purchase. It is a service free of charge when you purchase your knife. To receive this service, please add KNIFE-J-URAOSHI from "Related Item" when you purchase on line for any traditional Japanese style knives next to your ordered knives or mention to customer service represenatative when you purchase over the phone or at store.

What is Uraoshi?
Uraoshi is the flat part of the blade that goes around the back side of traditional Japanese style knives(single edged knives).Back of the single edged knife blades in fact are not flat but in the gentle concave shape.

Why you need Uraoshi?
Our Knife Sharpening Master Mr.Chiharu Sugai strongly recommends the Uraoshi sharpening process before the initial use of your traditional Japanese Style knives(such as Yanagi, Takobiki, Deba, Usuba, Kamagata Usuba, Kiritsuke, Funayuki or all other single edged knives). It is essential because Uraoshi will enhance the blade strength on the edge and make the knife ready for use. It will also align any unevenness of the back side of the blade. Without uraoshi, the knife cannot be sharpened properly and it can cause easy chipping and not reaching its maximum sharpness. In this process Mr. Sugai will use several different grits of sharpening stones to achieve this method of sharpening. It takes a skilled sharpener to perform this way of sharpening.

**Please note that once we sharpen the knife for you, the knife is not returnable or eligible for an exchange.

Gift Wrapping
Korin offers two types of gift wrapping to dress your purchase for that special occasion.

Knife Sharpening Demonstration
Do you want to invite knife master Chiharu Sugai to your kitchen or your school for a demonstration? You can learn from Korin’s master knife sharpener how to sharpen Japanese and German knives using water stones. Also, you can bring your own knives and get a “hands on” lesson to further enhance your skills and learn how to sharpen the tools of your trade. This will be a fun, educational experience that will help improve your sharpening skills, plus offer you a chance to buy high quality Japanese knives at discounted prices.