Development of Regional Traditional Japanese Knives

Before Tokyo became the capital of Japan, the emperor and nobles resided in the Kansai region while the shogun lived in the Kanto region. Kansai cuisine is more refined and lighter to suit the nobility, while the flavors in Kanto were stronger for hard working laborers. Due to the class separation in this matter, the nobility in Kansai looked down and mocked those in Kanto. The animosity led to chef in Kanto to not want to use the same tools, which led to the creation of the takobiki and usuba knives that are popularly used today.

Although, class separation through regions no longer exists, Kansai and Kanto remain the two most compared regions in Japan. One of the many distinctions between the two lies in the cuisine. You can still find these vast flavor differences by simply tasting the soy sauce; the soy sauce in Kanto is much saltier and stronger than in Kansai. Other popular dishes such as tempura are served with salt instead of a soy sauce based dips.