These traditional Japanese Higonokami or folding utility knives are made of high carbon “Ao-hagane” blue steel. The blade folds into a brass sheath. The blacksmith industry in the Banshu region in the Hyogo prefecture of Japan was said to have started long ago when a Katana factory was located there. What began as an industry producing straight razors in 1744, now manufactures a variety of products including utility knives, traditional Japanese straight razors, Japanese gripping shears used for cutting thread, pruning shears, and floral shears. Each piece is painstakingly made by hand by skilled craftsmen using the same techniques that have been employed for generations.