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Newbie in Japan/advice needed!

Hey team, Ken here. A New Zealander currently living in Japan. Thought I should sign up to the forum as I have found myself slipping down the slope of Japanese knives, sharpening and now into vintage straight razors. It seems to be a logical progression :laugh:

Anyway I guess I should get this party started with some pics of what I have so far and maybe some questions regarding gear? Basically I have recently gotten into buying old Japanese knives and sharpening them, so I have basic equipment for that. I recently picked up a few Japanese razors and with the equipment on hand I have managed to get the razors to somewhat pass the hanging hair test. Not really consistently enough by the looks of it though. So Id like some advice on what to go for next. Keeping in mind that I really want to keep sharpening equipment to a minimum.

The equipment I already have is an atoma 400, king 800/6000, unknown jnat that seems to be around the 4 to 4.5 hardness area in accordance to volume/weight calculation, mikawa asano botan, tenjyo and mejiro naguras on their way and finally a small leather strop/paddle with green stropping compound and bare leather on the other side.

So for the razors I started with king 800 stone then the 6000 side then to the jnat with a slurry made using atoma 400, after working the jnat with slurry for a while I move to just water, the finish on the blade is kind of hazy, not mirror is this a bad thing/does it indicate the stone is soft? After the Jnat I tried stropping a little bit on bare leather but wouldnt really pass the hanging hair test, so I used leather strop loaded with green compound then bare leather, after that the blade kind of inconsistently passes the test. Is there anything I can do to improve the final sharpness of the blades?

I know that Starting on the 800 probably isnt ideal as its a bit rough so I am hoping the naguras I get will work well and am hoping that the jnat I have is suitable. I would rather not aquire too many stones as I travel around a bit! I was thinking maybe I should get one more benchstone for my knives around the 3000 mark which should be good for both my knives and razors.

Any input would be appreciated.

Also, are there any other people in Japan lurking on here? I am in Osaka, it would be cool to maybe link up with any other likeminded people in Japan, its not the easiest being here and not knowing where to find resources etc.

Cheers! Ken
Hi Ken, welcome to B & B! The straight razor section has a lot of folks there that would be happy to discuss & share with you. I suggest copying your post & putting it in the straight razor section. Enjoy the journey!!!

I am based in Yokohama but sometimes
make it down to Kansai. I used to work in Osaka (Namba, Kyobashi, Umeda) when I lived in Kyoto. I have been wetshaving for about two years and have a couple dozen straight razors, though mostly Western razors.

Besides, going through a full nagura progression (including koma) you could also fine tune that edge with diamond pasted balsa strops. There are whole threads on this.

If you have any specific questions on getting shaving gear in Japan, send me a PM.

Yoroshiku Onegaishimasu,

My only advice is to use only edge trailing strokes on the King 6000. If you have a nagura of some sort that is also preferable over using just water on the 6000. Avoid edge leading strokes on this stone. Just my opinion, you may or may not find this improves your edge.
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