Frequently Asked Questions
This page features questions form our readers, and gives you the opportunity to ask me any niggling questions about Japanese hones, razors, honing or any other topic this blog usually covers. Before you ask, please make sure you try the search bar to try to find the answer--it might already be here!
Anything not covered in the other categories.
Sharpening a razor to a shaving edge.
There are lots of different styles to doing this, but the basic thing to remember is, you need to hone more on the unstamped "Omote" of the razor than the "Ura" (the side with the stamps).
Various honers use different ratios to do this: 10 strokes on the Omote, 1 on the Ura...7/3....5/1... It all depends on your honing style and the edge you get yourself.
Mizuochi-san of Iwasaki Seisakujou uses almost 1:1--he does a full stroke on the Omote and about a half stroke on teh Ura. He says this is for two reason: Iwasaki razors harden the Hagane steel of the edge very hard, so it needs more honing, and he got so many complaints about "one sided shaving" that he decided to balance out the bevel.
Here are some Youtube videos I made showing the basic technique.
Japanese Kamisori Honing--Nakayama Karasu?
The Japanese word for Razor, on this blog used to refer specifically to Wakamisori, straight razors with no scales and an asymmetric grind.
These razors come packed in a plastic bag together with a piece of rust-preventing paper. In the case of these razors, there is text indicating that the razors have been made from Hitachi steel.
Hope this helps!
Kataha, or asymmetrical, kamisori can be stropped as normal--there is no need to worry about the uneven bevel or honing ratios when stropping on linen or leather. However, pasted stropping is another matter altogether, and you might want to follow a similar pattern to honing.
For pure information purposes, old school users of Kamisori tend to strop only on their open palms.