March 2020 - Introducing some Traditional Japanese Garden Tools

Japanese garden tools image

Well after a long break the current ‘lock down’ situation has at least provided the time to update our blog on ‘all things pruning’ and extend it to ‘some things gardening’.

Over the past few months, we have investigated a range of traditional Japanese garden tools. With the assistance of our main Japanese tool supplier Topman, and their extensive contacts within the Japanese tool industry, we are now stocking an extended range of Japanese garden tools.

Hori hori digging knife

Asano Mokkou stainless steel hori hori digging knife.

The word hori (ホリ) means "to dig" in Japanese and "hori-hori" is the onomatopoeia for a digging sound. The tool itself is commonly referred to in Japan as a "leisure knife" (source - Wikipedea)

  • 175 mm blade.
  • 310 mm overall length.
  • Comes in a sheath with a belt loop.
  • Strong and durable material and construction.

The blade has one smooth edge for slicing (e.g. for opening compost or potting mix bags), and one serrated edge for sawing through roots and other tough material. It can be used for cultivating, digging and grubbing, cutting, dividing plants and prying weeds out of the ground.

The slightly concave design on the blade also allows it to be used as a hand trowel.

Hand fork and hoe

Hand fork and mattock (hoe)

Japanese Asano Mokkou combined hand fork (also referred to as a squid type rake or fork hoe) and mattock (or draw hoe).

Used for cultivating, turning and breaking up soil digging and hoeing up to around 12 cm in depth.

Head 70 x 240

360 mm birch handle

Short handled hoe

Wide head hand hoe (mattock)

Japanese Asano Mokkou wide head draw hoe with short handle.

75 mm wide blade (125 mm deep)

360mm birch handle

It’s easier on the wrist than many weeding tools because it doesn’t require you to twist or bend your wrist – just bury the head in the ground and pull it toward you.

Double edged weeding, digging and cultivating tool

Double edged sickle

Japanese double-edged weeding and cultivating sickle

Traditional Japanese Asano Mokkou sharp double-edged weeding and cultivating sickle with 140 mm stainless steel head. Overall length 400 mm.

Multi-function tool for weeding, cultivating, furrowing and digging. Great for removing soil from planting holes.

traditional Japanese weeding, digging and planting sickle

Crane Neck Sickle

Traditional Japanese weeding tool. Japanese Asano Mokkou crane neck sickle, the crane neck design provides an ideal angle for weeding, cultivating, defining and covering shallow seed rows. 120 mm blade, 300 mm magnolia wood handle, weight 210 g

Japanese serrated edged harvesting sickle

Serrated Sickle

Japanese sickle with 170 mm serrated stainless steel blade cutting edge, 195 mm magnolia wood handle, weight 100 g

Traditional Japanese rice and vegetable harvesting sickle, great for harvesting herbs, salads and veggies. Use in the garden for grasses and small herbaceous plants and around the base of trees.

Use the sickle with a pulling and wrist turning action, not to be used with a swinging action.

Japanese hedge shears 180 mm blades, overall length 700 mm

Hedge Shears

Japanese Nishigaki Karikichi N364 Hedge Shears with 180 mm blades, oak handles, overall length 700 mm. Fully hardened, high carbon 180 mm steel blades (i.e. not layered of laminated steel). Has an easily adjustable nut to maintain blade tension.

Designed for regular hedge maintenance tasks. Note that if you are dealing with hedges and other plants that have not been pruned for some time you will require loppers/pruning saws for thicker, older wood.