One of the leading natural sharpening stone miner in Kyoto, Mr. Youzou Tuchihashi.
His stones are highly regarded in all over Japan and have been a forefront source of high quality natural whetstones.
Youzou san is the fourth generation since Totoriya opened in 1878. He is such a passionate and fun guy who loves talking about his process of mining the stones. After manually excavating the stones he then brings it to his shop and cuts it using his machine and stone size guide. He then brings it to a polisher machine which makes it smooth and ready for sharpening.
The stones are made of alluvial clay and volcanic ash which is found in the area of Kameoka. I was surprised to learn that my home country Philippines has something to do with this alluvial clay appearing there because of a gradual crashing of the Philippine Plate to Japan. And because of limited supply these stones are becoming scarce each year.
These sharpening stones are highly sought after because of the finish that it can do to a knife. It can also reveal the true beauty and performance of the blade.
*All stones comes with Nano Hone Universal Backing Plate with Adhesive for extra protection