Masashi Kobo Yanagiba
White Paper Steel Yanagiba sashimi knife from Masashi Kobo.
Masashi Yamamoto, nephew of Mr Yoshida from Yoshikane, makes the most sublime knives imaginable in Sanjo city, Niigata. These singled bevelled yanagiba are essential for professional fish preparation - the blade is long enough to slice with one cut rather than using a sawing motion, and gives a more precise cut than double bevelled blades.
More about Masashi
Masashi Yamamoto trained under his uncle, Yoshida san at Yoshikane, and produces knives of stunning quality - primarily in his signature SLD steel, a hard wearing, very-nearly-stainless-steel. In 2018 Masashi moved his forge to a new factory in Sanjo (in Niigata Prefecture) and now has two apprentices working with him.
We think he looks a little like Christopher Walken, and he claims to be a children’s ski instructor - something we don’t doubt.
Please note: By law, we are not permitted to sell a knife or blade to any person under the age of 18. By placing an order for one of these items you are declaring that you are 18 years of age or over. These items must be used responsibly and appropriately.
Masashi Kobo Yanagiba
- 270mm blades
- Shirogami #2 White Paper Steel
- Magnolia handles
- Made in Japan
- In Stock - Available to dispatch worldwide, contact us for showroom stock availability
UK: (excluding Tripod Ladders)
- Free delivery for orders over £100*
- £4.00: 48 Tracked with Royal Mail - delivered by the postie, can be left in safe place, limited tracking info. Approx 2-4 working days.
- £7.50: FedEx Tracked service delivered next working day for orders received before 1pm GMT Mon–Fri (ex Bank Holidays).
Global: (excluding Tripod Ladders)
- Free delivery for orders over £/$/€100*
- Price depends on location - adjust the COUNTRY tab in your basket to see the price.
- We use DHL, FedEx, or UPS, and we’ll email you the tracking info.
*Customs fees may apply and are estimated during checkout. Surcharges may apply to some larger or heavier items to some areas.
* Please note Niwaki are not responsible for any import duty, taxes or fees incurred and these will be will be collected by our courier during customs clearance — For EU countries, when possible DHL will provide an estimate on the order confirmation page.
For better or worse, Western knives are often seen as general purpose kitchen tools, used for cutting, prizing, levering and all sorts of other jobs around the kitchen (and sometimes beyond). Japanese knives should not be viewed this way and it may require a change of mindset to get the best out of your knife and ensure it delivers many years of service. Cared for correctly, this ought to be the case: the quality of the craftsmanship and the ease with which they can be kept incredibly sharp are two of the main reasons to make the switch to Japanese carbon steel, but that comes at a price: the steel is more brittle than you may be used to and they are not for the heavy-handed or the careless. They are unforgiving tools and you may not get an opportunity to make the same mistake twice.
A good rule of thumb is to show them the same respect you show your poshest wine glasses, but here are some other pointers.
Commons mistakes to avoid:
- Leaving wooden handled knives to soak in water.
- Washing knives in the dishwasher.
- Not storing them carefully: store them individually, not jumbled up with other cutlery.
- Cutting into bone. If you’re not sure whether there’s bone, or you know there to be bone present, go very slowly and carefully, or consider using a different knife.
- Trying to cut frozen foods.
- Cutting down too hard on to the wrong sort of surface, for example kitchen worktops.
Don’t be put off. They are great to use and easy to care for. To get the best from your knives:
- Wash them by hand and dry thoroughly afterwards.
- Wipe over with Camellia Oil if not using regularly.
- Sharpen every two weeks or so of regular use.
- Use the Niwaki Combination Stone for everyday sharpening.
- Take care with harder foods, such as the skin of a pumpkin or a squash.