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My philosophy

ART OVER BEAUTY My philosophy image

The cheetah is a very beautiful animal, but the cheetah isn't trying to be beautiful. He is trying to be artful. The cheetah's art is catching prey. To do well in his art, he must be fast and stealthy. To be fast, the cheetah must respect the laws of aerodynamics. So he grows a slender body, and a small, flattened head, and long, thin legs, and a large counterweight tail. And then, to be stealthy, he paints himself with deadly camouflage. Beautiful! But beauty was never in his mind. The cheetah's beauty follows from, and proceeds out of, his devotion to his art of hunting.

Nature begins with needs. The cheetah has his needs, which dictate his form, which results in his beauty. The antelope, too, has his needs, which dictate his form, which result in his beauty. And so on, for the eagle, and the bear, and the snail, and the ant, and the blade of grass, and the autumn leaf. And all of nature's beauty comes from this struggle for excellence of function. This is nature's way, and I think it is the best way.

Therefore I begin with my customer's art, the art of cooking.

What does my customer need? What does this knife need? I struggle to satisfy these needs with a cheetah-like excellence of function. I hope that a kind of beauty comes out of this struggle. But my priority is my customer cooking art, and of course my knife-making art. So I summarize my philosophy in this phrase, "Art over beauty."

ART OVER BEAUTY My philosophy image2

From Shiba:

In my kitchen and in my workshop, I am always thinking about you, my customer. I hope that my knives will surprise and delight you. May your cooking life be enriched! With loving thanks from my kitchen to yours.