Seiichi Nakamura – Designer Story

Seiichi Nakamura began his journey into knife making at a young age, learning from skilled craftsmen while working in his father’s factory. His experience forging scissors and assembling pocket knives helped to teach him the intricacies of the craft. Nakamura estimates he most likely assembled more than one million knives in his time building production blades, honing his skills with each one. In 1984, Nakamura designed his very first knife, featuring a lock-back mechanism and a pair of scissors, which he named the Dolphin.

Style & Craft

When asked about what defines his knife-making style, he humbly replies, “Simple, user friendly and good looking.” These sentiments are of course reflected in every Nakamura custom and every Nakamura/Benchmade collaboration, every design presenting the highest attention to detail. In referencing his inspiration for his designs, Nakamura speaks to remaining “curious,” or, in essence, to be continually exploring and discovering. Of course, function and overall aesthetics are huge components of his design ethos.

Nakamura recalls his inspiration for his latest Benchmade collaboration, the 486 Saibu, which occurred during a casual walk around his neighborhood. “When I was strolling around in the early morning I saw a house wall,” said Nakamura. “The latticework of the wall is what directly inspired both the inlay and the base scale.”

It’s In the Details

For Nakamura, the design process typically starts with a series of sketches based on his original inspiration. Those sketches then lead to a final drawing, followed by an outline for construction of a simple model. With the model in hand, small adjustments proceed to edge closer to the final iteration of the design.

Armed with years of knowledge in knife craftsmanship and an extensive understanding of production manufacturing, Seiichi Nakamura has crafted a unique style into each of his works. His latest Benchmade collaboration, the 486 Saibu, is truly a masterpiece, from the bamboo-inspired backspacer to the inlaid thumb studs.

2020 Update: The Gold-Class Saibu

Taking Nakamura’s design a step further, we’re proud to present the 486-201 Gold-Class Saibu. Inspired by the designer’s heritage, the Gold-Class Saibu homages the temple shrines of Japan, mixing ivory G10 with crimson red G10 inlays, which are accented by 24-karat gold-plated hardware.

Hand finished and adorned with a Rose™ Damasteel® blade, our 250-piece tribute to Nakamura’s artistry and heritage has been crafted with honor and respect.

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