In the early 2000s, Kikuchiyo was invited by master craftsman of Sakai to join them as a blacksmith. The art of blacksmithing is physical, the rough working environment of fire and iron takes a toll on the body and many of the masters' abilities begin to wane in their forties and fifties. As Kikuchiyo started earlier in life, he has gained most of the knowledge and skill of fine forging and quenching, before his physical abilities deteriorate.
Kikuchiyo proactively experimented with new steels not generally used by Sakai’s blacksmith, steels such as stainless. His experience and skill have made his Ginsan (Silver 3) knives popular among Japanese cuisine chef’s, many stating “If you use Kikuchiyo’s Ginsan once, you will never replace it”.
Kikuchiyo is also known for fine Honyaki quenching, beautiful Hamon and the correct hardness and gumminess are only achievable by experienced masters achieving the correct temperature. His Honyaki is supported by many of Sakai’s sharpeners and finishers, professionals who know what makes a good kitchen knife.
When Kikuchiyo joined as a blacksmith, he dreamed of success and becoming a great man. He continues to develop his skills as a craftsman, modelling each of his knives on the image of his master’s forge.