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Thick and durable, this simple pocket knife was popular in pre-war Japan.
Damascus steel, used for its blade, is a hard, tough, and very durable steel, ideal for making sharp blades.
In 1895, during the Meiji era, Shigematsu Tasaburo developed a knife based on the pocket knife he had brought back from Kagoshima Prefecture. He called his Higonokami - knives because most of his customers were in the Higo region.
With the popularity of knives, the city of Sanmu prospered. There were at most 40 factories in the city. But over time, these factories have closed one after the other. A single factory still makes Higokoma: Nagakoma Workshop. Established in 1894, Nagao-san and his family still produce the knife just as their ancestors did 100 years ago.
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