Why use a Hinoki cutting board for Japanese Knives ?

At Sakai Ichimonji , we do not recomend hardwood cutting boards like Maple, Walnut or hard butcher blocks for use with Japanese knives.

Japanese Kitchen knives are made from a harder, thinner steel and cutting on hard wood boards can cause damage to the blades fine edge.

We suggest our customers use Natural Hinoki Wood boards.

In Japan, the most popular cutting board material is “Hinoki”, also known as Japanese Cyprus.

Hinoki has historically been considered a precious material. It grows only in Japan , gives off a natural lemon scent and possesses anti-bacterial properties.

The wood was traditionally used to build temples and shrines in Japan, but in modern times it’s use has been expanded to flooring, carvings, furniture, Japanese bath tubs and cutting boards.

What makes it ideal for cutting boards?


Hinoki wood is generally white, or sometimes with a hint of red. The wood has a beautiful luster to it, that’s considered beautiful and elegant.

Moisture & Mold resistant

Hinoki is highly resistant to moisture, which is especially beneficial in a country like Japan where the humidity can be very high throughout the Summer months. This moisture resistance also makes Hinoki well suited to used in traditional Japanese bathtubs and of course cutting boards.

Anti-bacterial Properties

The moisture resistance mentioned above, contributes to Hinoki’s anti-bacterial properties. The oil produced in the fine grains of the wood, has natural anti-bacterial properties.

Strength and durability

Hinoki wood is fine grained, and becomes stronger over the course of it’s life . Though not as hard as Western Woods used commonly used for cutting boards, Hinoki comparative softness , means that it will not damage the much harder Japanese Blade Steels.

Warp resistant

The soft, fine grained, moisture resistant wood is less likely to warp than harder woods.


Hinoki will emit a light lemon scent during use that is considered both fresh and relaxing.

All these factors combine to make the ideal cutting board for Japanese Kitchen knives.