Hardness   Grit   Speed/Strength   Price in U.S.
9            9+              10              SOLD         
Copy (2) of nakayama1.jpg (1105498 bytes)

Reads on the stone top from the upper right down, JUN SHOSHIN HONZAN (pure
specially chosen original mountain),

And 27 (an inventory number)

And at the bottom SAIKOKYUHIN (very best quality)

Marked on the end of the stone in a rectangle MARUKA SHO HONZAN (Maruka
correct true original mountain)*.

This Nakayama Maruka awasedo tomae stone is NEW/OLD stock from a closed
store in Japan. It has not been used other than to test the quality at one edge of the
stone as you can see in the photos. Exceedingly rare in this color and quality, toishi
awasedo like this have not been mined for many, many years.

The actual color of the stone is more of a salmon color with a tint of rose like you
can see on the back. Also there is a vein of buff color that runs through diagonally.
The top looks a bit brick in color now but this is partly because of the oxidized skin
that forms over the years in reaction to the minerals in the stone. This skin is
microns thin and can be polished off with a diamond plate before using. The sides
are sawn with the finest toothed saw and the back was hand chiseled and displays
the attention to detail a fine stone deserves. There is a corner that retains part of
the skin.

A Swedish blue steel Ishido Teruhide blade was used to sample this stone.

I found the stone to be very receptive to the blue steel blade, there was no
chattering and no scratchy feeling of any kind. The stone has a smooth even grit
through out the whole surface and with the little bit of sharpening I did, the skin
opened up and some of the rose color began to show through. You can see in the
photos that the hagane became mirror like and the jigane also polished up while
still keeping a contrast with the hagane.