Shigeru Tozaki: Accomplished knife maker and engraver Shigeru Tozaki was born in 1947 in Chiba Prefecture Matsudo City Japan, where he currently lives with his charming wife Yuko. A Graphic Designer by training, Shigeru discovered the intricate world of custom knives while recovering from a motorcycle accident in 1987. During his hospital stay a freind brought him a copy of The Knife Magazine of Japan, and he was bitten by the knife making bug on the spot! In fact, shortly thereafter he began to learn knife making and engraving at just about the same time. The first two years Shigeru made knives almost completely by hand using only files,but wanting to move to another level of quality he began classroom instruction on the use of the belt grinder and all aspects of making folders with Mr. H. Takahashi. He also taught himself the art of engraving. His favorite knife makers are H.H. Frank, Mis. H. Hirayama and Mr. H. Shimada.
His preferred steels are ATS-34 and 440C which he generally gives a satin finish. Currently he uses only two power tools including a Burr King Grinder and an electric drill. And although he does make the occasional fixed blade, his focus is on traditionally inspired slip-joint and lock-back folders – complete with his own engraving. The knives are of his own design but clearly reference some of the best features of old time pocket knives. Typical handle material is fine jigged bone and occasionally wood or mother of pearl. Leather sheaths or cloth pouches for each knife are carefully hand-made by wife Yuko.
Currently Shigeru and Yuko exhibit at three shows in Japan, including the JKG, Seki and CFKS. In the US they attend only two shows at present, including the Blade Show each June in Atlanta and the New York Custom Knife Show in November. Currently delivery time is in the 4-6 month range although we expect that time to jump dramatically as more discerning collectors have a chance to examine Shigeru’s extremely fine work.
Comments on Shigeru Tozaki by Ryuichi Kawamura:
“Although he is not well known yet in the US, Shigeru Tozaki is one of the finest knife makers in Japan. He is best known for his outstanding fit and finish, and his ability to engrave his own knives at a very high level. I believe Shigeru will have great success in the US once American collectors have a chance to handle his knives.”
Best regards – Ryuichi Kawamura.