Fine tools for making fine dishes
Another important factor was Sakai, a city neighbouring Osaka and a major production centre for cooking knives and cutlery.
Good knives are indispensable in cookery. Without them, the most skilled master chefs using the finest ingredients are unable to perform properly. For this reason, the proximity of Sakai was highly significant.
There used to be an old saying: "Everything originates in Sakai." This industrial and commercial city produced the country's first muskets and textiles. Sakai's manufacturing of cutlery originally developed in the Toyotomi and early Tokugawa periods (late 16th century to early 17th century), after tobacco began to be imported from Portugal. As smoking grew in popularity, Sakai's blacksmiths began making knives for cutting the tobacco leaves to meet the rapidly increasing demand. Under the Tokugawa shogunate, Sakai became famous throughout Japan as the national centre for the production of tobacco knives. During the Genroku era (1688-1704), deba-bocho (broad-bladed knives for preparing fish) and usuba-bocho (thin-bladed knives) were manufactured. These types of knives are still used in today's kitchens, and represent a major contribution to the development of cookery.