I have been curious about Japanese-style (“Kamisori”) straight razors ever since Jim Rion’s Sharpologist article a couple years ago. To me it seemed like kamisori razors were better suited for shaving yourself, compared to the western-style folding straight razors (which to me seemed like they were better for shaving someone else rather than shaving yourself). Unfortunately Japanese-style straight razors are difficult to find in the west. So when I had an opportunity to purchase a “KIYA Ichogake Kamisori Straight Razor,” for a reasonable price I decided to buy.
When I received the razor I was initially struck by it’s unusual, simple beauty:
Unfortunately, on first use it became obvious it was not shave ready (despite being “factory sharpened”). I was a little disappointed but not really surprised. Not to worry, a Sharpologist advertiser, Straight Razor Designs, offers a razor sharpening service by Lynn Abrams that I have used before (Classic Shaving also offers a straight razor sharpening service). After checking with Lynn by email to make sure he could sharpen the asymmetrical blade style of a Japanese razor, I sent it off.