Handle Japanese knives carefully - the steel is brittle. Don't cut bones, don't use on hard surfaces, don't chuck them about and don't put them in the dishwasher. Handle them like you handle your wine glasses and you'll be fine.
- hand wash
- avoid soaking for too long - especially the traditional style knives, as it expands the wooden handles
- dry throroughly
- store individually
- wipe over with Camellia Oil if not using regularly
- sharpen every two weeks or so of regular use
- use Shapton Whetstones for a perfect finish. #1500 or #2000 is perfect for regular sharpening, with finer grits for more honing and polishing. We use #2000, #4000 and go up to #8000 when we feel like it.