The IWAI blacksmith company has been devoted to manufacturing knives for approx. 80 years from 1939.
Takeshi Iwai, received the certification of the youngest Traditional Craftsman of cutlery production industry in 2006 and took over his father's company.
His father, Takayuki Iwai, had also received the certification in 1994. It's the first thing that two generations are certified.
It's notable that they never use machines for mass production but their skilled hands, because they believe machine-made knives are often inferior than hand-made ones in quality.
"Echizen" is the historical area in Fukui prefecture, including Takefu city, as one of Japanese important knife capitals.
The kitchen knives made in the Echizen is called Echizen Uchi Hamono. The art of making Japanese kitchen knives has a history of about 700 years.
Echizen Uchi Hamono is designated as "Traditional Crafts" by the Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry.