Meet craftsman at Japanese knife capital


Meet knife specialist, Eric at Japanese knife capital

From April, We will periodically post an article focusing on “Senshuites,” the attractive residents who live in Senshu. This memorable first article focuses on Mr. Eric, a French guy who works as an inbound coordinator at the Sakai City Traditional Crafts Museum. He attends to many foreign visitors to buy traditional products, especially knives. Because he had trained at Sasuke, one of the famous knife and scissors workshops in Sakai, He can explain how to choose and use it for buyers from professional perspective. That’s why he was very popular among foreigners visiting there before the pandemic.

Firstly, We focus on why he was interested in Japan. Find out more below.

Encounter with the Japanese Language

When He was in high school, he listened to Japanese music for the first time. This led to a strong interest in the sounds and letters of the Japanese language. “The hieroglyphic characters like Kanji(Chinese character) is like ‘artistic pictures’ to me,” he said. That’s why he hooked on Kanji at this time. However, at the first university he entered, he was enrolled in a course to study management and marketing, which he had majored in when he was in high school because he can’t change his major due to under French educational system. So he quit the university and re-entered the university where he could study Japanese studies. His love for Japan is absolutely true.


It’s time to go to Japan! But the Great East Japan Earthquake struck!

The timing of that he tried to leave from his country to Japan is worst unfortunately because The Great East Japan Earthquake struck. However his love for japan never ran out, and he came to Japan the following year using a working holiday visa. While staying in Japan, he encounters Sasuke, through an acquaintance.

Encounter with Sasuke

“Then, Sasuke asked me to do some translation work, so I helped him. That’s when I started to get involved with Sasuke. But I wasn’t interested in the knife at first.” Eric said. But his mind was changed as he involved more and more. “I was attracted to the ‘universe of Sasuke’. I want to know all things such as blacksmith, knives, and pray in every morning because they are all part of Japanese culture.” he said.

That’s why he got started training at Sasuke. The training is not easy. Speaking of income, It seems that his salary is very low, 20,000 yen per month at the lowest. But he was satisfied.

“Sasuke was a school of Japanese culture for me. You don’t get paid to study at school, right? Actually, I didn’t care about money at that time.”

He started a new career as an inbound coordinator

After his training at Sasuke, He started a new career as an inbound coordinator at the Sakai City Traditional Craft Museum, His current job. Here, he serves customers in English, French, and Japanese and sells them. In fact, half of the store’s total sales are made by foreigners, which clearly shows how much he contributes sales.

What he wants to do in the future

He has been living in Sakai for about 10 years now, so his knowledge regarding cutlery and Sakai city is first-rate. What does he want to do next? He has been interviewed by many media and now became famous. He is willing to utilize his name brand to promote not only Sakai, but also Kinki region as a tourism ambassador. He also said that he would like to collaborate with the French consulate to conduct a tour on the Sakai Incident, which is not well known in both Japan and France, to make Sakai better known in France.

Join the tour guided by Eric!  

Guided tours to Sasuke, Ancient tombs called kofun, and delicious restaurants in Sakai city are available. All tours by him are provided in French. Eric can arrange visits depending on what you want to see. If you are interested, please contact the concierge for more information.


Writer: yuki Notsuzuki, Senshu concierge.



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