Seki City's Top Blade of 2017The Katana Ice or 'Nihonto-Aisu' (Japanese Sword Ice Cream) was the brainchild of students at the Seki City High School of Commerce and Industry. A local confectioner produced a limited run of the product in time for the 2017 Seki Hamono Matsuri (Seki Cutlery Festival). Such was the enthusiasm for this new local speciality that stocks at the festival sold out in just one hour - despite vending at 1,000 yen apiece.
As its name suggests, the Katana Ice imitates the form of Japan's most iconic weapon - complete with a cookie 'tsuba' or handguard. Two distinctive flavours were debuted in 2017: koshian (sweet adzuki bean paste) and yuzu (Japanese citrus).
Inspired by Seki Sword-Making TraditionIf you ever come to Seki City and visit its museums, you will inevitably encounter the phrase: 'Does not break; does not bend; cuts well' (折れず、曲がらず、よく切れる). This famous dictum sums up the qualities which samurai lords once admired in Seki's legendary blades.
Did the inventors of the Katana Ice take inspiration from these words? Perhaps so. Like the swords once forged by Seki's blacksmiths, the Katana Ice is unusually durable. Thanks to an unique recipe incorporating kudzu (Japanese arrowroot), it does not easily melt - even in hot weather. This excellent property allows samurai enthusiasts to enjoy a little swordplay as well as a cooling treat. Thankfully, unlike other Seki City knives, the 'Nihonto-Aisu' does not cut very well!
Pointing AheadGiven how quickly the Katana Ice gained nationwide attention on its debut, we hope that it will make a strong return in summer 2018. It is certainly hard to imagine a more suitable local speciality for the City of Blades. Updates, we expect, will be posted on the official Katana Ice website (in Japanese).
Will you attend the Seki Hamono Matsuri this year? Seki's biggest annual event is already a major destination for kitchen knife enthusiasts and sword history buffs alike.
Even if you cannot make it to Gifu Prefecture this summer, you can always find top quality Japanese knives from Seki City right here on our website. As for Katana Ice… maybe it too will become available worldwide before long.