At Long Last: Honing Razors and Nihonkamisori

27 Apr in Fundamentals, History, Honing, How-To Guide, Iwasaki, Translation

It's finished.

After several months of work not only translating, but trying to figure out what the heck the writer was talking about, I've finally completed my to-date magnum opus. With permission from Shigeyoshi Iwasaki, I'm extremely proud to finally make public "Honing Razors and Nihonkamisori" by Kousuke Iwasaki, Shigeyoshi's late father and founder of the Sanjou Seisakushou (Workshop), the Iwasaki forge.

This document is intended as not only a historical examination, but also a bit of a guide for people interested in traditional methods of using and caring for Japanese razors, both folding and non-folding. This book was written as a textbook for a barbering school, meaning it is aimed at people in professional training. There is a lot of information here, but some things are clearly missing--for example, the constant question of "how do I hone a Kamisori" is not specifically addressed. I think the reason is, that particular technique was probably demonstrated by the teacher, so it did not need to be addressed in the text. Or, perhaps (as the text itself hints at) the actual specific technique is less important than the basic fundamentals of honing.

Whatever the reason, you won't find references to honing ratios or the like here. You will find lots of other fascinating, and useful, information.

So please, download, enjoy, and let me know what you think.

Download Link (ZIP file with PDF and Protected .DOC versions of the English translation).

Comments

Thanks so much!

Hello Jim,

 

I just became aware of this translation so please forgive my late posting.

This is just wonderful!  You have helped answer several questions I had and confirmed other perceptions I have been developing. This is a really useful document.

Thanks so much!

Randolph Tuttle  aka randydance062449

It's my pleasure!

Hi Randy,

Thanks for your kind words! I'm really happy you found it helpful. It was, and is, a labor of love and it means a lot that people like yourself appreciate it.

Thanks!

Jim

Do you know what the "yellow nagura" men...

Do you know what the "yellow nagura?" mentioned in the document is?

Jim nice translation. I got then copy of it when I...

Jim nice translation.
I got then copy of it when I visited Sanjyou Seisakujo from Iwasaki san too and got permission to make a translation or resume. But I think you made it better.
Very nice read. Now I have read it twice. 1 in Japanese an 1 in English.

This is awesome, thank you.

This is awesome, thank you.

DJ, Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, that&...

DJ,

Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, that's still a mystery, but not one I've forgotten. I hope to ask some more people this month.

Masaru-san, thanks very much! I don' tknow if it's better than yours would be, but I hope it's good enough. If you have any advice or suggestions, please to email me!

Nelson, no, thank you!

Great! Amazing! Thank you very much for translati...

Great! Amazing!

Thank you very much for translation.

I wont to know is there freely available original japanese text of "Honing Razors and Nihonkamisori" by Kousuke Iwasaki?

I think it is very useful to have such a parallel text for learning 日本語 and it's terminology for toisi and other sharpening related things.

Nikolay, Thanks for your comment and kind words, ...

Nikolay,

Thanks for your comment and kind words, as always.

Unfortunately, I don't know about a freely available copy of the Japanese yet. Iwasaki-san himself sent me a photocopy, but as I understand it the school that originally published the text still has some copyright. And English translation was ok, but I'm not sure about the Japanese. I will ask Iwasaki-san about making the Japanese available, as well.

nice one jimr, i just didnt understand that with e...

nice one jimr, i just didnt understand that with edge finishing exactly. should i stand it on its edge like i watch if its koncav? could u make a picture of it?

Thank you again! The one another reason why I wan...

Thank you again!

The one another reason why I want to have original japanese text is name of stones and other special terms.

For example what is japanese for Ozaki?

I think it is good idea to give original japanese kanji for such a names.

The same is for all other proper names.

Nikolay, That's a good idea. The kanji for O...

Nikolay,

That's a good idea.

The kanji for Ozaki is 尾崎.

Did you have any other questions?

I hope you don't mind that I posted a link to ...

I hope you don't mind that I posted a link to this entry over on Bladesmith's Forum. There are quite a few of my fellow knife makers that would be keen on knowing about this.

Best always,
Jim

Thank you Jim for kanji! I have made a table with...

Thank you Jim for kanji!

I have made a table with kanji for most popular mines:

...

there is no Nakayama with Shoubudani there just because
I think it is commonly known.

As for bladesmiths and knifemakers... most of them...

As for bladesmiths and knifemakers... most of them do not care about razor like sharpness

Most of our knifemakers sharpen their blades with belt grinder and never hone with fine whetstones.

Thank you very much for this marvelous document an...

Thank you very much for this marvelous document and translation.

Jim, Of course I don't mind! Thanks for spre...

Jim,

Of course I don't mind! Thanks for spreading the word. I did it so people could read it.

Nikolay,

Good work on that list. I'll see if I can't get back on top of the hone vocabulary.

Håkan,

Thank you for your kind comment!

jim, That link no longer works. Are you aware?

jim,

That link no longer works. Are you aware?

Thanks so much for this. Very well done.

Thanks so much for this. Very well done.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Powered by Drupal, an open source content management system