Masamoto Sohonten

At the tender age of 16, Minosuke Matsuzawa left his hometown of Tokyo for Sakai to study knife crafting. Sakai was then considered the natural place for a young knife craftsman to go to study his art. During his apprenticeship, Matsuzawa identified the features in Inari clay, found only in Kansai, that made it the ideal material for use during the tempering process in knife forging. To his surprise, he found that a similar type of clay could also be found in Kanto (Tokyo). He was so excited by this discovery and so anxious to prove that superior knives could also be created in his own region that he deserted his craft master in the middle of training and rushed back to Tokyo.

Matsuzawa founded Masamoto Sohonten Company and started making knives in 1866. It was his dream that his family would come to be remembered as knife craftsmen throughout the generations. Now, five generations later, Matsuzawa’s vision has been realized and professionally crafted Masamoto knives have become widely regarded as the finest knives made for professional use.

A Message from Masamoto Sohonten’s President:

“Each one of our knives is inspected by Japan’s #1 sharpener, Master Mizuyama (Chiharu Sugai’s grand master), to ensure top quality. After they are inspected, we hand pick the best of the best to ship out to Korin. It would not be an exaggeration to say that Korin is the most trusted company in the world. We recognize Mr. Sugai as an accomplished sharpener, whom we give official authorization to honbazuke and service our products. Korin has a superb eye to look at knives and have a deep understanding of the differences in quality even with brand new products.”

Masahiro Hirano
Masamoto Sohonten’s Sixth Generation Owner.