In the 19th century, a blacksmith in Kyushu is said to have added a simple lever to a basic pocket knife to help open and close the blade more easily. The knife proved to be successful and a guild was formed to oversee the manufacturing of the knife. Only those belonging to the guild could manufacture the knife and use the respected name of Higo No Kami. The term Higo no Kami means Lord of Higo in Japanese, in honor of the Lord of Kyushu. Today, each higonokami knife is still handmade by the last remaining maker in the guild, Nagao Seisakusho. Founded in 1894 by Komataro Nagao, in Hyogo Japan, Nagao Kanekoma is a 5-generation family business.
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