The Usuba is a traditional Japanese vegetable knife that originated in Tokyo. Its blade is thin and long with a single-bevel edge and a square tip.
A regional variant of the standard Usuba is the Kamagata Usuba, which is popular in the Osaka region. The Kamagata Usuba has a rounded spine towards the tip, similar to the Santoku, often referred to as a sheep’s hoof.
An Usuba is designed specifically to work with vegetables. The single-bevel can be useful for creating consistent slices and is ideal for chopping, slicing, dicing, and mincing.
Its single edge makes it perfect for peeling vegetables such as the daikon radish. This technique is common in Japanese cuisine and can be used to create garnishes or as a component of a dish.
All three of these are very similar Japanese vegetable knives. Both the Usuba and Kamagata Usuba are very good single-bevel vegetable knives. The Kamagata Usuba has a bit more of a pointed tip which can help more if you’d like to try decorative carvings or find you like using the tip of the knife for cleaning vegetables, such as peppers.
The Mukimono is more specifically oriented towards delicate carving and decorative work with a very sharp-angled tip, reminiscent of a Kengata-style Gyuto or Santoku.
The better you care for your blade, the better and longer it’ll serve you. Refrain from placing your knives in a dishwasher. Hand-wash them instead with warm water and dry them with a soft cloth. Ensure you wipe off moisture once you’ve finished using it to help prevent rust and corrosion. Regular application of Tsubaki Camellia Oil will also help with this.
All single-bevel knives will need to be sharpened using a whetstone.