Yoshizen's Blog

Japanese Multi-function Knife / 十徳ナイフ

Multi-use Knife-(2)A09A2826

This is one of my longest serving mountain tool, multi-Function Knife.

Japanese name, Jyuttoku Knife (十徳ナイフ) literally mean 10 function Knife

though, most of this kind were having 4~6 functions.    (Otherwise it become too big to use comfortably.

= While using one function, rest of 9 tools of bulk and dead weight are still in the hand. 🙂 )

So that, I never seen the one which got 10 or more functions ever.


You must be familiar with well known Swiss Army Knife though, they only started to come

to Japan after 60s.    Before it, Multi-Function Knife in Japan meant this type, and as far as

I know it was designed soon after great war and said to be one of the clever export item to

American in 50~60s. —– Before electronic goods or car, this kind of cheap cottage industry

products were the export items from Japan.   (And must have item for mountain life though,

I’m not sure they are still sold in Japan now.)


I bought this knife when I joined my Hi-school Alpine Club.

Since then, this knife has been always with me in the field or in the mountain.

Not only that, this knife is in daily use as well in my kitchen as a small-knife and a can-opener.

In fact this is the only can-opener I ever had in my life. 🙂    As this one works perfect and

I’m quite contented, I didn’t need to buy anything more.

—– So, I would say, I’m a humble minimalist.  😀


When western friend saw this, all of them said

“Why knife and fork are in the same hand ?  :-)”

“It’s a western view. Sir” “We don’t eat a steak on a plate in the mountain” 😀

—– Some of the people may chose a life in an ideal settings while possessing ideal goods

though, it’s their life.  I don’t care others, neither I would brandish Buddhist’s Dogma kind,

and never say use the same can-opener 50 years is anything to do with Zen,

but to say this is my life.


Some of you might think, the one’s confidence is proportional to the amount

what the one can spend.    It’s utterly wrong.  

Spend nothing is also from one’s confidence.

Life is not what you can buy and possess but what you are doing and have done.



5 Responses

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  1. bentehaarstad said, on April 28, 2013 at 11:33

    Seems a very good and charming tool, Yoshi.

    • yoshizen said, on April 28, 2013 at 12:07

      Thank you Bente.
      As a multifunction tool, it never be the best, still able to manage.
      Charming yes. I see its hand made character, — a sort of human touch.
      I can visualize a father and sun hammering this in their small workshop. 🙂

  2. Mountain Tool box | Yoshizen's Blog said, on September 6, 2015 at 20:39

    […] a party use etc — typically, a multi function knife is in my daily […]

  3. Robert Gamble said, on May 20, 2016 at 02:10

    It’s called a hobo tool by the Boy Scouts of America.

    • yoshizen said, on May 20, 2016 at 06:07

      What a good information you gave here !
      Still, I’m very cuorious where the name “Hobo” came from ?
      Thank you Robert. 🙂

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