Chiba Cutlery | Tools packed with traditional Japanese technology


For any kinds of cutlery, Chiba Koshugu

Cutlery and hand tools produced by Chiba Prefecture blacksmiths using traditional techniques, named at Chiba cutlery. It is a generic name for cutlery and hand tools made in Chiba Prefecture. The main products are sickles, kitchen knives, scissors, etc., and have been used in many professional fields. 

What is “Chiba Cutlery”?

The Boso Peninsula underwent large-scale development during the Edo period (1603-1868), including the Tone River eastward shift project and the reclamation of the Inba Marsh, and in this process, the techniques for manufacturing tools necessary for land reclamation and community development developed. Literary materials indicate that the area was established as a production center of artisan tools by the end of the Edo period.

The existence of dairy farms in the Boso Peninsula, which is said to be the birthplace of dairy farming, was also behind the development of Chiba craftsmen’s tools, and after the Meiji Restoration, Western shears and knives were manufactured to meet the increased demand for sheep and cattle farming, along with sickles suitable for farm management. The manufacture of hairdressing shears also flourished to meet the demand for haircutting after the decree on haircutting was issued.

Chiba knife
Source: BECOS

Recently accredited but has an old

Chiba Takumi Togu has a long history dating back to the Edo period. Around the time of the establishment of the Edo shogunate, large-scale civil engineering projects began to be carried out on the Boso Peninsula, including the Tonegawa River Eastward Expansion Project in 1594 and the Inbanuma Swamp Reclamation in 1724, which required a variety of tools, which led to the development of the craftsmen’s tools.

The number of blacksmiths on the Boso Peninsula at that time increased rapidly in order to produce carpenters’ tools for use in construction work. Manufacturing techniques were also improved, and gradually high-quality craftsmen’s tools began to be produced. By the late Edo period (1603-1867), craftsmanship had matured further, and the Boso Peninsula became well known as a production center.

The development of dairy and livestock farming is also important. The Boso Peninsula was the birthplace of dairy farming, and there were many farms. Therefore, there was a lot of demand for tools used by farmers, and blacksmiths vigorously made craft tools.

Chiba koshogu
Source: East Japan railway company

The turning point for Chiba cutlery industry

After the Meiji Restoration, the livestock industry became more active due to the introduction of Western culture. There were many calls for high quality knives and sickles, and a wide range of craftsmen’s tools were produced. Craftsmen’s skills continued to improve in order to provide products more suited to ranch management.

After the decree on haircutting and dehorning in 1871, the popularity of hairdressing shears for use in barbershops also increased. Tools that had not been needed much before were now used in many stores, further expanding the field of craftsmen’s tools. Craftsmen also worked energetically to create new tools that people demanded.

The technics of craftsmen’s tools developed from the Edo period to the Meiji period have been inherited by modern craftsmen. New craftsmen continue to produce new tools, while respecting the accumulated knowledge and techniques.


The distinctive feature of Chiba Takushogu is that each piece is carefully crafted by artisans who have mastered the art of master craftsmanship. The handmade taste is popular because of the consistent work done by a single craftsman, rather than the division of labor. This method of production, which does not involve the division of labor, is rare in other production areas, and gives Chiba Koshogu its unique charm.

  • Chiba Koshogu is also known for its unique techniques that have been passed down from generation to generation. The “blade mesh” technique is used to make scissors, and the “beating molding” and “katagiri molding” techniques are also used for other products, which are not found in other production centers.
  • The “blade mesh” is a technique of combining two blades according to the use of the scissors. The angle of the blades is adjusted to suit the various uses of the scissors, such as pruning and hairdressing, requiring the skill of the craftsman.

What brings about this feature ?

In the tapping molding technique, heated metal is beaten with a mallet to form the shape of a sickle or hoe. In katagiri zoukei, a paper pattern is applied to the beaten and stretched base metal, which is then cut into a shape using a tool called an oshikiri or a hammer.

Hammering iron for Chiba koshogu

The fact that the latter half of the production process is almost entirely done by hand is another characteristic of Chiba Koshugu. Strain removal” to adjust the strain of the material, “rough sharpening” and “medium sharpening” to sharpen the part that will become the blade, and the final finishing touches are all operations that require advanced skills.

Chiba Takumi tools, which support professionals in various occupations, are the crystallization of craftsmen’s skills and are carefully made with the user in mind. The company’s attitude of knowing exactly what people want and continuing to make them with all their hearts has led to its high popularity.

Craftmanship for Chiba Cutlery

1. Shaping shall be by one of the following

  • In the case of scissors, the blade shall be set by hammering or filing.
  • For products other than scissors, “beating molding” or “mold cutting molding” using a hammer
    or chisel.

2. In the case of quenching, quenching shall be performed by quenching with water or oil.

3.In case of tempering, cool in water or oil.

4. “Deformation”, “grinding” and “finishing” shall be done by hand.

 [Raw materials used]

The materials to be used shall be iron, carbon steel or iron and carbon steel or metals having equivalent properties.

a variety of Chiba Koshogu
Source: Journalist Kouki Kagatani’s “Inside Story” of the interview


Craftsmen who still use traditional techniques and methods remain and continue to make craftsmen’s tools today. However, the craftsmanship has developed flexibly in response to the changing times, such as the production of Western-style cutlery, in addition to the high technology brought about by tradition. Nowadays, there are many products not only for the Japanese market but also for overseas markets, and we hope that these high-quality, durable, and excellent products made in Japan will take the world by storm.


Boshu Uchiwa

 1        2

Let's share this post !