Higonokami

Higonokami is a Japanese traditional folding knife which is a registered trademark and only manufactured in Nagao Kanekoma factory in Miki city,Hyogo prefecture,Japan.Miki city has a long history of making knives and carpentry tools.

There are different hypothesis of origin of Higonokami and its name.One of the dominant theories dates back to the end of 19th century.A hardware dealer in Miki city,Tasaburo Shigematsu,went to Kagoshima prefecture in Kyushu area and bought a non-folding pocket knife.After he got back to Miki city,he crafted a pocket knife which could be folded referring the knife which he had got in Kagoshima.That folding knife spread throughout the nation making improvements little by little.The reason why it's called 肥後守 Higonokami is that they had a lot of customers who bought that knife in Kumamoto prefecture which is located in 肥後 Higo area.And 守 kami,that letter means,charm,defense,guard,director,work etc.

After they started crafting Higonokami,most of kids had them for shaving pencils,bamboo and such.But in 1955 it became illegal to let kids carry Higonokami and other pocket knives because the government considered it as a weapon which could lead to crimes.In 2017,Higonokami knives are still manufactured in Nagao Kanekoma factory for many collectors and wood crafting.And the main blacksmith is Mitsuo Nagao who is the 5th generation craftsman.

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