The Naniwa Gouken line represent a new product offering philosophy from Naniwa, one of the most reputable sharpening stone manufacturers.
For as long as I could remember, the Naniwa Chosera line represents the holy-grail of sharpening stones for kitchen knives: very fast cutting power, slow dishing and most importantly offering a very very gentle sharpening feedback that was not seen in other stones. The stone is huge in size (25mm thick, with the 10K over 30mm), and is mounted on a traditional base, and there is a free HUGE Nagura (cleaning stone) comes with the package
(The classic Naniwa Chosera is too big to ship)
If you ask me, what is the problem with the Chosera line? Well the single biggest problem for us, the vendors, is that the stone is simply too big to ship: at 210x70x25mm, the stone is too heavy and to be honest, even in commercially environment like the store, we don’t wear out a Chosera that quick, for an average user it is even less likely to wear one out in a reasonable time. The included nargura doesn’t help either as it contribute to a lot of weight with virtually no use at all (most of us use diamond plates or natural naguras anyway).
At over 2KG in shipping weight, the cost of international shipping becomes prohibitive. If we want to make sure the package lands safely (a cracked stone for an international order is a DISASTER!), a lot of padding must be added, resulting in the volumetric weight sometimes exceeding 3KG.
Plus, so many customers asked the question of “Do you offer the Chosera without base?”
To adjust the above-mentioned problems, the Gouken line was introduced. Currently there are two sub-labels under the Gouken branding. The Arata and Kagayaki.
The Kagayaki is very budget friendly. My experience with the Kagayaki is also very good. Based on the popular “Naniwa Super Stone”, the Kagayaki is making it slightly harder therefore less dishing, at 10mm thick, it is very easy to carry around and a standard carrying box can fit two Kagayaki stones. I much prefer that Kagayaki over the similar-sized Shapton Glass Stone because:
1. Overall both the Shpton Glass and the Naniwa Kagayaki perform similarly, the Kagayaki has a better feedback.
2. They are the same in terms of size, however the Glass Stone has a merely 5mm of abrasive (the rest is the GLASS). You keep the stone flat by lapping it, not by having a glass at the back.
3. The Kagayaki is cheaper compared to the Glass Stone, and taking the abrasive thickness into account, the Kagayaki offers a much better value.