Karasu Asagi 

Tall Karasu 1

Here’s a very interesting Asagi Karasu. This one is thinner than it is tall, making it an ideal choice for honing blades that have grind issues. While not entirely necessary for that type of work, there is no denying that it can help make sure each part of the blade is on the stone – even if there’s a warp in the blade.

This one is hard, but not super hard – splitting hairs on hardness is a fools game – what I call hard is what a lot of people call very hard – and so on. Suffice to say this stone is hard-enough to get any razor honed up extremely well.

The Karasu pattern isn’t overly striking, but the black flecks of Mica are pronounced enough to qualify the pattern easily. The line across the middle is a very thin stripe of what we call Namazu. I suspect it will lap out eventually. Another nice quality here is that the Karasu goes through the entire stone – top to bottom; you can see the dark stripes on the sides and there’s a lot of them. So, basically – as this stone gets used, over time – the Karasu pattern will probably become more pronounced.

The feedback here is very gentle – this is an uber-smooth stone to work on. The sides and bottom are sealed with red-tinted Cashew Lacquer, the top is lapped and the working edges are all chamfered.

The origin of this stone is unknown – as it arrived without any stamps on top. The bottom shows some wide chisel marks though; usually this is done to clear skin or fragmented shards of stone, and I usually see this only on stones that are very good. I suppose the idea is that the miner knows his trade well, and thinks enough of the stone to clean it up well shortly after it’s been quarried. Another theory is that this is done to see if the Karasu goes all the way through the stone. At any rate, whatever the story is – I have seen these wider chisel marks Karasu stones from Takashima in the past.   

Approx. Dimensions: 8.25 x 1.5 x 1.75” / 210 x 38 x 45mm

Weight: 36 oz / 1013 g

© Keith V Johnson 2014 - 2018