Classic Nakayama. From one of the oldest and most famous mines Naka means middle and Yama means
mountain. The Nakayama mine dates to around 800 years ago and was right in the middle of the Yamashiro or
Castle Mountain area. The mine was in the village of Umegahata which is in between the city edge of Kyoto
and the east flank of Mt. Atago. The Nakayama mine now closed provided the greater portion, over 50%, of all
the kamisori toishi razor sharpening stones mined in Japan before 1935. All mines did produce some
kamisori toishi but the Nakayama mines output was overwhelmingly fine and pure, qualities needed for
This classic asagi stone defines the meaning of asagi, that being; a generally gray stone that contains a subtle
variegated pattern made up of a combination or a blend of faint green/olive and faint yellow/oatmeal. These
hues combine to create a distinct blue/green, a color used to describe what is seen on the skin of a
iridescence bubble floating on the surface of an active organic indigo dye pot. You could also say this stone
has a color that is gray but not only gray, and/or green but a different kind of green that is sort of bluish.
I have honed and shaved with a vintage german razor off this stone and the shave exceeded my expectations.
The blade came off this stone after two minutes with a faint slurry made with a kiita and another minute with
just clear water followed with a palm stropping of 20 strokes. At this point it passed a HHT-5 with flying colors.
This size stone can be easily used as a hand held or bench mounted hone, the top is lapped flat with the top
corners and edges beveled as are all my stones,
This stone and the other kamisori toishi on my site are from a world class private collection of over 400 pieces
assembled in Japan over the past years in the area around Toyama by a collector of shaving implements. I
was lucky enough to purchase total collection over the last 2 years. Many of the hones were actually used by
barbers, some dating to the 1920s or earlier, while others were simply prepared by the miners as razor hones
as evidenced by the size and fine quality of the stones grit composition.
|SPECIMEN NAKAYAMA KAMISORI TOISHI #409