I also got a small piece of Tamahagane clot as souvenir from Iwasaki Razor Factory.
They told me that it was made in 1936.
Tamahagane is made by sand iron with three days and nights burn.
If the process successes, Tamahagane lump is there in the fire pit like this.
Of course, the lump is much bigger than my souvenir.
The Tamahagane lump has to be pounded so many times to be flat metal plate, and then it holds over so many times to make the product to be even quality.
Iwasaki Tamahagane Japanese Razor is approximately a double of price comparing with Sweden steel Iwasaki razor.
I have think over so many times so many ways: why is it?
Is it caused by Tamahagane steel cost?
Is it harder to sand it down to make the shape of razor?
Is it harder for forging process?
Mr. Mizuochi gave me one of tip to find out the answer indirectly.
He showed me about 50 of looked almost finished Tamahagane razors, but he told me that they have not been in forging process yet, and a half of them will not survive.
The half of them will be failed for forging process.
He is experiensced Japanese razor crafsman, but a half of them will be eliminated.
I guess that it is the one of the main reason what Tamahagane razor is a double of the price than Swden steel razor.
It looks very nice and they are almost ready to sell after put on the sharp edge, but he has to throw them away.
That is sad, and behind Iwasaki Tamahagane razor has that kinds of stories.
Actually, they do not want make Tamahagane razors, because the half of hard works are thrown away, but they have still Tamahagane steel, so they do not want to waste such a wonderful precious steel, so they decided to make Tamahagane razor little by little.
I went to there end of summer, and he waited for the temperature going down until fall season, because if the water temperature is too high, all Tamahagane razors are failed the forging process.
It is very sensitive process.
I asked one more question to Mr. Mizuochi.
Is Tamahagane razor harder to sharpening?
He told me that it is easy and smooth to sharpening.
I think HRC is high like 67 with Tamahagane razor, but it is not related with hardness and sharpening hard or easy.
If softer steel is easy to sharpening, we should try to sharpen shovel.
It is supposed to be very soft steel to protect from impact, but it is very hard to sharpening.
Tamahagane for Japanese sword, and Tamahagane for Japanese razor is different features.
Tamahagane for Japanese sword is cut protectors, and human meat, and human bone, so it should be strong for impact, and very sharp.
Tamahagane for Japanese razor is really hard, super sharp, and the edge is not fall a part up to 1 micron world.
That is why Tamahagane for Japanese razor is not made the same method as Japanese sword, so they had to research and try and out lots of times.
I visited Sanjo Seisakujo(Iwasaki razor factory) at Sanjo, Nigata about a month ago.
I talked with Mr. Shigeyoshi Iwasaki and Mr. Mizuochi several hours.
They taught me a lot of things at that time.
I am really grateful.
They also gave me two of across sections on the Iwasaki razors.
I just took some pictures for Iwasaki razor across sections.
All Iwasaki razors were about one inch longer than what we have.
It was cut across after forged process, because the tip side might be affected by heat more than middle of the blade.
It might be little too hard or little too soft, so it is made 1 inch longer and cut across every single Iwasaki razors after forged process.
There is two pieces of across section clots, and the across section one has thin skin like different color on the flat side.
Iit is Hagane, harder steel, Sweden steel.
It is super thin like 1/32" and it is welded on curve surface, so it is very hard skill to do.
If the welding surface is weaved little bit, when it is sharpened, the thin layer of Hagane will be gone, and then there is only Jigane is there, and it is not cutlery anymore after that.
That is why it is very hard skill to make Japanese razor, and in Japan, there are not too many guys who makes high quality Japanese style razor now.
The the razor on the top side picture is left hand Japanese razor, and the second picture is the regular right hand Japanese razor.
Originally, Japanese razor is designed to use attaching bevel side on our face, and it is shaven by someone else for the person needs shave, so wife or family or barber shaves for the person who needs shave.
The person who shave can move right side and left side of the person who is shaven, so right hand razor is no problem at all, but now, we shave our bared ourselves, so if we are left hand, the left hand Japanese razor is easier to use.
It is very rare to see left hand Japanese razor anyway.
Please click here to see more pictures
Fortunately, I have got five of Shigefusa knives last week, and three of them are still available now.