Sanjyo's two most famous plane makers are Nagahiro and Hatsuhiro. First
generation Nagahiro ("±Ê¹°" Nagayoshi Yonetarou) from Sanjyo Niigata (there
is another Nagahiro "Ä¹¹°" from Tokyo so don't get mixed up) was basically
the first one to use alloys (Blue Steel) for high quality plane blade, which
was renowned for it's super cutting edge. First generation Hatsuhiro is
this Nagahiro's apprentice. Nagahiro's brother Kikuji was helping his brother's
chisel division, and as he became independent and set up his own business
Nagahiro passed over the entire chisel division to Kikuji. This was the
birth of Kikuhiromaru.
Kikuji had three sons. The eldest Shouji takes over Kikuhiromaru, and the
second son Keizaburou became independent and started another very famous
high quality chisel brand Keiju (refer to my Keiju page). The youngest brother
became a saw smith (Nakaya Shinsui).
As you can see, Nagayoshi family has been a traditional carpentry tool maker
all along. Recently Shouji's son Kazuyoshi has taken over the leading blacksmith
of Kikuhiromaru, passing on the tradition onto the next generation.
Kikuhiromaru's chisels are known for its simple and practical design backed
with high quality cutting edge offered for very reasonable price. Blue steel version which is a specially ordered model by JT is now available.
Can be ordered by the piece as well, from 6700 (3mm) ~ 13000 (48mm).
The one shown above is Hammered finish with white oak handle, with the protective laquer still on. The one below is hammered finish with boxwood handle, the laquer taken off.
The back flattened for the one shown at the bottom.
Two with red oak handle are the basic black finish with regular strike hoop. Two with boxwood handle has hammered style hoop.
From Left to right.
Hammered finish, White Steel #1
Hammered finish, Blue Steel #2
Black finish, White Steel #1
The stamps are different between each model. Blue steel model has circled "Ao(blue)" stamp above Kikuhiromaru's stamp.