FAQs

GENERAL

About Japana

Our co-founder, Kamila, started Japana when she was unable to find a quality, affordable Japanese knife for her boyfriend. After searching with no luck through multiple London shops and kanji-filled websites, she decided to go directly to the source and contacted a Japanese blacksmith who made her a custom-engraved knife. So, in early 2016, together with her high school friend Anna they co-founded Japana. It wasn’t easy navigating the intricacies of different cultures and facing language barriers, but the love for craftsmanship prevailed.

At Japana our mission is to bring beautiful, premium quality and unique handcrafted products that last. In a time of fast-paced technology and disposable fashion, we are proud to support groups of small artisans who pride themselves on vigilance and respect for the craft that no machine can replicate. All Japana products are handcrafted using the finest materials and created in small batches to check for quality and ensure they are made to last. We do not use ready-made materials and we do not mass-produce. We believe that truly great products take precision, time and passion.

Read Our Story here.

How can I partner with Japana?

Our Brand Ambassador program offer is coming soon, but you can contact us for details on [email protected]

How can I contact Japana?

If you have any questions, seek advice or for anything else – feel free to send us an email via our Contact Us page or connect directly via Facebook Messenger.

Where can I purchase Japana products?

Japana Home products are exclusively sold online on our official Japana Home website: japanahome.com. We choose to sell directly to you online to have a better control over the quality of our products and keep our prices low.

First, we curate and select artisans who pride themselves on vigilance and respect for the craft that no machine can replicate. Each blade is then forged and hand-polished in Japan by master swordsmen using techniques perfected by their families over centuries. Finally, we sell directly to you online – with no middlemen ever touching the product.

Is Japana on social media?

Yes! You can find Japana on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube and Twitter.

Make sure to tag us and share your Japana moments with #myJapana.

ACCOUNT

How can I opt out of the newsletter?

You can unsubscribe using the link in any newsletter (top or bottom). IMPORTANT: Before you unsubscribe, please do not mark these emails as spam, as this may also block the delivery of other important emails from Japana (order confirmation, etc).

Please bear in mind it can take up to 7 days for your un-subscription to take effect.

How can I manage my account?

You can create an account here. Alternatively, when you place an order an account is automatically created for you. You can also sign in to your account by clicking Track My Order.

What can I do if I forgot my password?

If you’ve forgotten your password, you can select “Forgotten Password” and we’ll send you a new one – remember to check your spam folder if you don’t see it in your inbox after a few minutes as it will be auto generated

What can I do once I'm logged in?

Once you’ve logged in, you’ll be able to:

(i) Track your order / Note when your product will be ready

(ii) Get delivery information if your order has been dispatched

(iii) Get a VAT Invoice

(iv) Change your delivery address (if your order has not been dispatched)

(v) Put your order on hold if you’re moving house or will not be able to receive it before a certain date. Your order(s) can be held up to 3 months in the future.

SHIPMENT AND PAYMENTS

Do you offer Free shipping?

Yes, we offer free UK shipping for orders above £70 and free international shipping for orders above £200. In case of heavy packages, extra fee may be applied at the checkout, as we may need to send packages as special delivery.

Is my payment secure?

The security of your payment information is very important to us. If you pay through an app store like iTunes or Google Play, or through an online wallet like PayPal, we never receive your credit card information.

If you pay through our website using a credit card, we contract with third-party payment processors who are responsible for ensuring that your payment data is handled securely at every step:

  • Your credit card information is collected on a secure HTTPS web page using SSL.
  • We use credit card processing firms that are fully PCI-DSS compliant, which means they meet all industry standards for cardholder security.
  • We never store your credit card number or your security code (CVV code). We only store a payment “token” (an order number generated by the processor), which allows us to charge your card automatically for auto-renewing subscriptions, or to look up your payment transaction without having your card details.

How can I track my order?

Once we ship your order you will automatically receive an email with the tracking number. If you haven’t received it, please check in your spam box. If still nothing, contact us and we’ll be happy to send it again.

Can I provide additional delivery instructions?

Yes, you have such an option when placing an order in the notes field. Alternatively, if you’ve already placed an order and would like to change or add anything regarding delivery, log in to your account and leave the info there.

What guarantee do the knives have?

Here at Japana we make sure that the products we send to you are checked for exceptional quality and that the packaging is always secure and sturdy, so that you receive undamaged, high quality goods which will last a lifetime. We believe our customers should not worry about buying premium products online, this is why our Sakai Kyuba x Japana range, Wooden magnetic knife stand block and Wall mounted magnetic wood knife rack come with a lifetime guarantee. 

The lifetime guarantee covers any defects in manufacturing and materials that functionally impair the products mentioned above. Japana will repair or replace any of these products free of charge. Please note that in the case of a set, only the faulty item will be replaced. 

Our lifetime guarantee does not cover:

      • Damage caused by normal wear and tear, accident or negligence. 
      • Damage caused by improper use (knocks, dents, crushing, drops, etc.).
      • Damage due to loss, theft, fire or other causes beyond our control.
      • Damage caused by commercial, professional, or workplace use.
      • Damage due to improper storage.  

 All returned items will be posted at the buyers expense other than where it’s a manufacturers fault. In this instance we will be happy to refund any postage costs along with arranging a replacement. You will need to send us a copy of your postage receipt in order to receive a refund. If you have any quality concerns, please contact us at [email protected]

Can I return my purchase?

You are welcome to return your purchase within 50 days under our money back guarantee. We believe our customers should not worry about buying online premium goods – that’s why we’ve introduced 50 days money back guarantee. How does it work? Simple. If you’re not completely satisfied with your purchase for any reason, send it back within 50 days and we’ll give you a full refund. No questions asked.

Check out our full Returns & Exchanges policy here.

JAPANESE KITCHEN KNIVES 101

I'm thinking of buying your Japanese kitchen knife for home use. What should I know?

With so many shapes, sizes, steels, finishes and handle materials it can be overwhelming knowing what to look for in a Japanese knife. But choosing a kitchen knife and right sharpening tools is not as hard you might think, it just seems like it because of all the choices available. We are here for you to select the best Japanese knife. The cost and the fear of getting it wrong can be stressful but since we offer 50 day money back guarantee, we are 100% sure you will love our products. We’re here to help you figure it all out and get you your new favourite knife (or a set of them :). Check our Guide to Buying your First Japanese Knife or the “Japanese knives” section on our Journal.

How should I care for my knives?

You need to sharpen them regularly and depending on the type of steel, dry them immediately after use. These are 3 general rules you should follow:

  1. Don’t put your knife in a dishwasher, ever.
  2. Store your knives either on the magnetic knife strip,  knife stand, or sheathed in the utensil drawer.
  3. Don’t slide your knife, blade down, across the cutting board to clear away what you just chopped.

Also, check our full guide how to properly maintain the knife and sharpen it. Otherwise have a look at the “Equipment care” section of our Journal. 

Are Japanese knives hard to maintain?

It depends on the steel you’ll go for. Like most equipment, knives need a little love and care. Here are a few tips to help you get lasting service from your knife:

    • Keep your knife dry – the entire knife, not just the blade.
    • Keep your knife sharp. Remember, a sharp blade is safer than a dull one. Use only professional sharpening tools and whetstones.
    • Do not use the cutting blade as a can opener, chisel, pry bar, screwdriver or for any heavy work for which your knife was not designed. Also, don’t use the back of your knife as a hammer. It may break the springs, handles or pin.
    • Handles made of wood can be occasionally rubbed with furniture polish or oil. Brass can be polished with household brass polish.
    • Avoid prolonged immersion in liquids (water, solvents, etc.). This can have a detrimental effect on not only the metal parts, but handles made of wood or other porous materials as well. Before using your knife on food items, wipe clean with alcohol, or wash with hot soapy water and rinse clean. Remember to re-clean and lubricate your knife after the food job is done.
    • Periodically apply a small amount of lubricant to the working parts of the knife, particularly the pivot points of a folding knife. Then apply a thin film of lubricant to the entire surface of the blade. This will help prevent surface oxidation and corrosion from moisture.
    • Sharpen your knives using high-quality sharpening tools such as natural stones or whetstones. 

For more knowledge read our articles:

What is Damascus steel?

Damascus, Wootz, and patternweld are all names given to different types of steels and blades. Basically, the idea is that two or more steel alloys are forged/cast together through various methods to give the wavy artistic pattern that comes from such a layering process. Historically, true Damascus steel was only made in the city of Damascus. For centuries, the blades made there were prized for their beautiful water-like patterning as much as for their sharpness. The Damascus production method, understandably, was a closely guarded trade secret. Special blade-folding techniques and unique impurities in the steel both contributed to its success. In the end, however, the secret was kept too well. Since the Damascus blade-making industry died out in the 18th century, nobody has managed to recreate it accurately on a commercial scale.

Today, ‘Damascus steel’ chef’s knives contain different grades of steel folded together repeatedly, sometimes around a core of pure knife-grade steel. The aim is to imitate the technique and appearance of historical Damascus steel, if not its exact composition.

A properly made Japanese Damascus chef’s knife will always exhibit great durability and sharpness. However, the main attraction is the distinctive patterning created by the layers of metal.

What is the difference between german, french and japanese knives?

Whether Japanese, Swiss or German, each type of knife has been influenced by its culture. The Japanese believe in need of having a perfect tool for an explicit purpose, and as such have many specific knife shapes for specific tasks. Meanwhile, Germans value versatility and durability in their culinary efforts and therefore German knives are characterised by being good in many different undertakings. In the end, each knife has its own strengths and weaknesses. It’s not that one style of knife is better than the other — it’s just a matter of use and preference (of course as long as the knife is made from high-quality materials).

For more in-depth information read our article What’s the Difference Between German and Japanese Knives?

What is the one, most versatile sharpening stone I can own?

If you’re just the beginner or an occasional user (We are guilty as charged! We usually leave this job to our partners), we suggest getting a combination whetstone, something between 1000 and 6000 grit like King 1000/6000 combo waterstone. These two stones and an inexpensive flattener will carry you a very long way. Add other stones or stropping supplies in the future as you learn. We think most new sharpeners should stay away from stones coarser than #1000 until they develop a technique they are comfortable with unless there is a very specific project in mind.

For more information read our article Which waterstone grit should you choose?

SAKAI KYUBA KNIVES

What is Sakai Kyuba 堺久馬 ?

Sakai Kyuba  堺久馬 is the name of our line of Japanese kitchen knives. Under the Sakai Kyuba 堺久馬 brand lies the artistry of one of the most famous blade masters in Sakai (Osaka Perfecture), Japan, drawing from over 600 years old blacksmithing tradition.

Although inspired by over 600 years of tradition, nothing about Sakai Kyuba 堺久馬 is left to chance. Every single blade has been meticulously handmade and perfected in Japan by Sakai’s (堺市) master blacksmith. Each blade is then forged and hand-polished in Japan by master swordsmen using techniques perfected by their families over centuries. The handle and blade are satin-finished to a subtle, yet stunning lustre. Made from the highest quality V10 46-layer Damascus Hammered Stainless steel – sturdier and sharper than anything you have experienced before. Crafted, not manufactured. No handle pattern is the same, guaranteeing you a unique piece of craftsmanship.

What are Sakai Kyuba 堺久馬 blades made from?

Our knives are handcrafted with the premium Japanese VG10 high-carbon stainless steel by skilled Japanese blacksmiths in Sakai, a small village in Osaka. VG10 steel offers an excellent balance between toughness, durability, and razor sharpness. It has higher carbon content than some other premium brands, which helps the edge stay noticeably sharper for a longer time. Our blades are 46 layers Damascus steel. To form pattern at least two difference steels are forge welded together (hammered together at forging temperatures) and then folded multiple times to produce layers.

What is the difference between Sakai Kyuba and Sakai Kyuba Classic?

These knife ranges differ in terms of the wood used in the handles: Cherry wood (Sakai Kyuba Classic) and Stabilised Maple Burl (Sakai Kyuba). Both types of wood are cut into octagonal shaped ambidextrous handles, giving you a firm grip on the knife. They are both perfectly balanced and light, allowing for maximum precision and more controlled movements during use.

Sakai Kyuba handles are made of limited European Maple Burl. The burl has to be dried for two years before it undergoes the process of stabilisation and colour dying. This ensures the wood is completely waterproof to avoid bacteria growth and is able to last generations. These are available in Green (dyed), Mediterranean Blue (dyed) or Natural Brown (not dyed) colour.

Sakai Kyuba Classic handles are made of limited European Natural Cherry. The wood is dried well before it undergoes the process of handle forming and blade mounting. Consequently it has a high water resistance and is able to last generations.

For more specifics read our Wooden handles: Maple burl vs Cherry wood blog post.

How long will Sakai Kyuba knives stay sharp?

It really depends on how often you use the knife, how do you care for it and what items you’re cutting but for a person cooking 5 times a week, it would be around 4-8 months. When tested in the rigours of a professional kitchen, the Sakai Kyuba x Japana knives outperformed brands that cost much more. However, no knife — including ours — will stay sharp forever. Which is why we provide all-you-need sharpening stones – that is King 1000/6000 combo and a King G-1 #8000. When the blade starts to dull, you can sharpen it easily at your home in 5-10 minutes.

Where are Sakai Kyuba knives made?

Every single Saki Kyuba  堺久馬  blade has been meticulously handmade, forged and hand-polished  in Japan by Sakai’s (堺市) master blacksmith. Whilst the beautiful handles are crafted by artisans in Europe using limited  European Maple Burl.