Both Aritsugu (有次) and Masamoto (正本) are well-known Japanese manufacturers of high-end kitchen knives. They are popular not only among professionals, but also as kitchen knives for home use among cooking enthusiasts.
Both sell a wide variety of excellent quality kitchen knives, and they are not generally considered superior or inferior. In Japan, it is said that “Masamoto in the East and Aritsugu in the West,” with Masamoto being more popular in eastern Japan and Aritsugu being more popular in western Japan, including Kyoto. However, there are some chefs in Tokyo who love Aritsugu, and vice versa.
It is important to note that both Aritsugu and Masamoto have multiple brands that are separated by goodwill. Most of the time, they are all high-quality brands, but they are separate companies and have different product lines.
Here are a few more details about each of the main and branch brands.
The name Aritsugu originally referred to a cutlery store in Nishiki-koji, Kyoto, founded in 1560. However, Aritsugu in Tsukiji, started in Tokyo in 1918, is also popular and well known in Tokyo. Both sell handmade kitchen knives that have been cultivated through more than four hundred years of tradition and skill.
Aritsugu in Kyoto does not officially sell its products online (although it is possible to order by phone and fax in Japan). The store sells a wide variety of excellent cooking utensils as well as kitchen knives, and I recommend that you stop by if you visit Kyoto. Below is the official website.
Tsukiji Aritsugu in Tokyo has stores in Tsukiji and Toyosu Markets, and Internet shopping is available only in Japan. Aritsugu products sold outside of Japan are often Tsukiji Aritsugu products. If it has the word “築地” (Tsukiji) engraved on it, it is definitely a product of Tsukiji Aritsugu, but it may not have the word. Below is the official website.
The head family of Masamoto is Masamoto Sohonten. It was founded in the late Edo period (1603-1868) and is stamped “総本店” (Sohonten).
The store is located near Tokyo Skytree and Asakusa. They can also be purchased at knife stores in Kappabashi and other areas. Below is the official website.
Masamoto Sohonten has an official store within Amazon.com, where you can purchase authentic products with confidence from the links below.
Tsukiji Masamoto, which was divided into goodwill shops at the end of the 19th century, is also popular.
Tsukiji Masamoto knives are stamped with the character “築” (Tsuki) and have stores in Tsukiji and Toyosu markets. It also sells its products outside of Japan through an contact form on the Internet. Below is the official website.