Alex's book, "Japanese Sharpening Stone Heaven" is now available for your purchase.
These sharpening stones come from our world-class, private collection of more than 400 pieces that we have personally assembled from Japan over many decades. We have been lucky enough to purchase some private collections over the last couple of years, as well. Many of the hones were actually used by barbers, some dating to the 1920s or earlier. Other stones were simply prepared by the miners as razor hones as evidenced by the size and fine quality of the stones’ grit composition.
Japanese tennen toishi are unique because of the slurry component and the way it can be exploited. For centuries, the clay binders that comprise the glue that holds
the stones grit in place has been manipulated by sword polishers, carpenters and barbers to suit their needs and requirements. No other stone will react with such characteristic and predictable ways as the natural stones that the mountains in and around Kyoto offer.
It gives us great joy to share this passion and love for these incredible stones with you. – Alex and Emiko Gilmore
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