Is my birthday present Shun Fuji a Japanese American fusion knife?

Hi Vecchiouomo,

Here, IMO, is the type of guy I think they were targeting (from Williams Sonoma review):

"As a professional chef in a fine dining restaurant, I have come to know what I love in a knife and what limitations other knives have.

Regarding the Fuji 10" chefs, this knife has no limitations. I am left handed, and the double “D” handle contours my hand perfectly. The iron sword wood handle has a great texture for grip. The gyuto style SG2 PM blade holds a lightning edge with my black ceramic hone, and has the perfect amount of raised belly for chopping, mincing, or walking my blade across a cutting board.

This is the number one blade I reach for at the restaurant, or at home and I have Macs, Shuns, Hattoris, Yaxells, and Kramers, hands down this beats them all.

You can find other gyuto style SG2 knives in the $400 range, but none with the looks, design, function and attention to detail, that this knife has"


I do not know if I would go quite that far, but it is at least a kitchen knife with a pretty strong disconnect from the rough and tumble fun that is cooking. It is attractive. I imagine it takes and holds a good edge. It probably has a very comfortable grip. It is delicate. So i guess it scores 4 out of 5 for serious cooks and 4 out of 4 for people looking for who do not require a go anywhere and do anything workhorse. Different criteria for different buyers. Of course if you introduce weighting into your scoring there is probably a wider variance. You could always add a score for whether your staff will abscond with it.

Hi Kaleo,

My collaborator, Dr. H, regularly comes by about once a week. and we almost always use part of the day for testing–often including roots:

For some more recent testing, I got a whole cache of carrots, and used them up on various comparisons, including my “shootout”:

This fit in well with some catering opportunities, and we steamed the carrots, mixed in some other vegetables, and catered three different small groups, about 30 in each group. In addition, we distributed to friends. For my own curiosity, I assigned one whole carrot to each of my 12 grabbables and tried to judge which performed the task most easily. I also had a friend demonstrate her technique for me with carrots–so I could help her buy a knife (Kai Seki Magoroku from Japan). Once cooked, the proceeds went to help the homeless at a nearby church.

Of course, tonight, I’ve prepared a simple salad with lettuce, avocado, celery, and tomato–with my birthday knife–to go along with my ham 'n swiss on rye and vegetable soup



What’s a “cache” of carrots? A bunch from the supermarket? Or did you get a load delivered and hill them in your back yard?

Wow, you’re prepping carrots for 90 at a time? Every day?

Oh, by all signs, it’s a nice knife. The point is, at $500, it’s a trophy knife. An again, I’d be astounded if it is intended for head chefs. At that pricepoint, it is comparable to the licensed, mass produced Kramers, very very few of which can be found in restaurant kitchens. And not being used by head chefs, caterers and collaborators.

Hi Kaleo,

Most important, it’s a great birthday present.



Hi Kaleo,

Dr H and I–almost every week–and several other friends from time to time–have lots of fun with a great hobby–enjoying these knives in my little testbed.


Yes, Happy Birthday. Enjoy the knife, no matter if/what you use it for.

What kind and brand of strop do you use, please. My dad used a strop for some knives and a whetstone for some. I have no idea how he arrived to whet some and strop some. TIA

Here’s what I bought most recently:

viking edge strop

If you get interested, just go to Youtube for countless demos. The plan is to use first white than green compound. The good news is that it is very difficult to do any harm to your knife.

The bad news is that it can take many strokes to get true edge refinement. I use a 500 stroke protocol.


I’ve been looking at, holding, and occasionally using my Fuji since my birthday. Even though I’ve known for years that it could/should be my Japanese/American Chef Knife upgrade, backed up by my wonderful Wusthof Classic Ikon 8", I must now establish that special “feel” so that when I reach and grab it, everything is automatic.

The challenge is changing grip, sliding back and forth around the pinch grip balance point: sliding back for a stroke through a head of lettuce or cabbage; sliding forward to slice a cucumber or tomato; angling up to rock chop a root.

This knife is fun to look at. It is so multilayered (161 layers) that it’s appearance is constantly changing. It’s really impossible to photograph.

Today, I’m making a salad and cutting up some cabbage as a side dish for dinner.



Do you have any inkling how twee this is?

Hi Kaleo,

Back on topic. I’m more and more comfortable thinking of this “birthday” knife as a Japanese American fusion knife well ahead of it’s time.

The Shun dual core knives are works of art and design.


What’s next? For Kai Shun, the question is why not continue? It appears that after Kaji and Fuji, they just stalled: left those two lines high priced and unknown at only Williams Sonoma, but still in production. Their Classic line and other lines became throwbacks–with straighter, flatter, profiles–little to no belly. For a time, they marketed a carbon “blue steel” line very similar to Japanese artisan knives with their truly traditional octagonal handle.

Efforts to market in the lower price range no longer have any American fusion touches: the Sora’s are very light weight with plastic handles and composite blades: not much different from European inspired Victorinox.

In Japan, they continued updating and Westernizing their own products with new technology that allowed lower and lower prices. Knives with the same profile as the Shuns in America, but different steels and finishes, were successfully marketed at all pricepoints in Japan–even though Japanese tradition strongly favored single beveled knives. The top end Kai Seki Magoroku models differ most from Shun with a universal handle rather than the right hand biased D on the Classic–a feature that could ironically be called American fusion if it were offered here.

The Kai Seki Magoroku nakiri–given to me 30 or more years ago–was already cultural fusion ready at an affordable price point. Without fanfare, Kai does currently import an updated version of my Kai Seki Magoroku nakiri and others in a “Wasabi” line–offered mainly online at a great pricepoint. It does well on Amazon without promotion: a “natural” cultural fusion knife for both Japan and American markets.

There are other Kai lines, sold in Japan, that are natural cultural fusion candidates here, that are not sold here. We learn about them on places like EBAY–and buy from suppliers in Japan. Even paying such marketers their margins, these knives still are available at very competitive prices. I’ve recently bought two.

Why doesn’t Kai market them here directly?


Ray, if you spent only 10% of the time you write about this actually picking up the knife and using it, you’d have gained some insight worth reporting.

Your OP was legit, explainable in terms of the thrill-down-leg you get when you fall in Cookware Love. But you keep bumping it frenetically, apparently just to convince yourself how expert you think you are. You’re not adding any value to readers. Please stop?

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Already have.


I like to read Ray’s musings - may not be that useful as I already have too many knives, but it’s fun and lighthearted.

A quick check on recent cookware threads also suggest that his threads are some of the most popular here. At least more popular than the ‘cookware in the doldrums’ thread… :wink:

HO needs content! Gives me a reason to visit HO more often… :slight_smile:

But, that’s of course the dilemma: provocative content will be read by many but will also attract criticism. Case in point the closing of Claus’ restaurant cookware thread.


Where you see content, I see what goes in the library’s section 793.93

If you want to gauge popularity of threads, I suggest an OP’s bumps should not be the measure.

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Thank you.

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