Yoshida Hamono ZDP-189 Kurouchi Bunka

Incredibly sharp and good looking, this is a beautiful example of a bunka.

*Please note: the handle is now walnut octagonal with a black pakka ferrule, not oval rosewood*

The unique shape of the bunka knife means that it is perfect for veg prep and for intricate tip work.

The knife is made from a core steel of ZDP-189, a very hard steel (66-67 HRC), which means it can achieve and hold an incredibly sharp edge.

Laminated steel - the core is made of very hard steel, dressed in an outer layer of softer stainless steel. Such a blade remains sharp for a very long time, and because of the softened external steel it is easier to grind and at the same time protect the centre steel from external factors.

Kurouchi finished blade, which is in the upper part of the knife, untreated and has already developed a dark patina. This protects the blade while giving it a traditional Japanese look. On the hand-wrought-iron knife, we have left visible fingerprints for a wonderful appearance, which at the same time prevents the food sticking.


The sharpness of the ZDP-189 range is up there with the very best knives we've ever seen. The hardness of the steel also means that edge is going to stay sharper for longer than many knives. They simply glide through food.


These are very good looking knives, you can see the journey they have been on through the process in the steel itself. If you are looking for a knife that tells a story then look no further.


Overall these knives are very comfortable to use, the lack of a finger notch at the heel could be a downside to some and it is a little weightier than some of our other knives.


This steel is very durable, avoid the usual bones and don't go anywhere near a dishwasher and you'll be rewarded.

Ease of care

ZDP 189 can be difficult to sharpen but you shouldn't have to do it very often, a few strokes with a ceramic sharpening rod will keep it in tip top condition between sharpens.

Given the extremely high HRC rating of the steel, you do need to be precise in your cutting technique to avoid any potential chipping but if you are, these knives will last a long time between sharpens.

Value for money

Excellent value - The craftsmanship and style combined with the insane sharpness rivals many significantly more expensive knives.

Technical details

  • Blade Length 188mm (Measurement of the cutting edge)
  • Total Length 322mm (Blade + Handle)
  • Blade width 2mm (Measured where blade enters handle)
  • Blade height 51mm Heel to spine
  • Total weight 148 grams
  • Steel Type - Cladding Stainless
  • Steel Type - Cutting edge ZDP-189
  • This knife steel has some special care instructions, learn more.

  • Left or Right handed Either
  • Hardness 66-67 HRC
  • Handle style Japanese

Our aim is to measure everything as accurately as possible but some specifications (such as hardness for example) are provided by the manufacturer and therefore should be used as a guide only.

Blacksmith Profile

Yoshida Hamono

Yoshida Hamono is a family-owned Japanese company with an age-long tradition in manufacturing state-of-the-art tools and Japanese swords (katanas) by hand.

Meet Yoshida Hamono

What you get

A textured shiny black box, lined with black card and the knife name in Japanese along the top. The blade is encased in a plastic sheath for protection.