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Thread: First Kamisori shave

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    Default First Kamisori shave

    I got myself a used Iwasaki kamisori and had my first shave with it yesterday in the evening.

    It's a bit different to handle and took a moment until the respect of the new disappeared.
    I went to the strop and started. The first few strokes where "uneasy" and with a bit of fear of loosing grip, but after 20 or thirty strokes it felt like I have used it for five years. Flipping actually works better than with a (western) straight.

    Then to the shave. OK, how to hold it (her? ... her!) best? Yes, I've done some reading and watched one or the other video, but holding it Yourself is different.

    First few strokes where like "hi, I'm Frank and this is my face". "Pleased to meet You. I am Iwasaki and this is my omote".
    Getting familiar with each other, I concentrated on that and the shave itself and completely forgot about the holding her. My fingers found their way like when dancing and within no time this whole thing truely became second nature - I'm now absolutely sure I have been shaving with a kamisori for at least a few years; maybe in another life.

    My hand finally found its basic position with three fingers side by side on the ura in the notch (which apparently has been made for that) and the thumb in the hollow of the omote right next to the stamp. This way, no pressure is needed to hold and guide her gently and precisely. It's so damn ergonomic that You wonder how you wondered in the first place.

    There is a nice shaving video by Jim R on youtube. At certain points he warns "this part is a bit complicated" or "tricky", but when I shaved I did not feel any discomfort at all.

    Unfortunately the shave was too got, so I had nothing to shave this morning, but I can live with that.

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    Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    They sure are fun to use, couldn't help reading it "Hi, I'm Frank and I've got RAD"
    DDTech likes this.
    Hur Svenska stålet biter kom låt oss pröfva på.

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    Serious Shaveaholic Smoothy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DDTech View Post
    I got myself a used Iwasaki kamisori and had my first shave with it yesterday in the evening.

    It's a bit different to handle and took a moment until the respect of the new disappeared.
    I went to the strop and started. The first few strokes where "uneasy" and with a bit of fear of loosing grip, but after 20 or thirty strokes it felt like I have used it for five years. Flipping actually works better than with a (western) straight.

    Then to the shave. OK, how to hold it (her? ... her!) best? Yes, I've done some reading and watched one or the other video, but holding it Yourself is different.

    First few strokes where like "hi, I'm Frank and this is my face". "Pleased to meet You. I am Iwasaki and this is my omote".
    Getting familiar with each other, I concentrated on that and the shave itself and completely forgot about the holding her. My fingers found their way like when dancing and within no time this whole thing truely became second nature - I'm now absolutely sure I have been shaving with a kamisori for at least a few years; maybe in another life.

    My hand finally found its basic position with three fingers side by side on the ura in the notch (which apparently has been made for that) and the thumb in the hollow of the omote right next to the stamp. This way, no pressure is needed to hold and guide her gently and precisely. It's so damn ergonomic that You wonder how you wondered in the first place.

    There is a nice shaving video by Jim R on youtube. At certain points he warns "this part is a bit complicated" or "tricky", but when I shaved I did not feel any discomfort at all.

    Unfortunately the shave was too got, so I had nothing to shave this morning, but I can live with that.
    Nice write-up, thank you for sharing. I also had my first Kamisori shave just a couple of months ago and took inspiration from Jim's video. They sure are 'different' but I very much agree with your assessment of how ergonomic they are.

    And the introduction bit was best in class, well written ;-)
    DDTech likes this.

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    At this point in time... gssixgun's Avatar
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    Kamisori are just so simple in their use and function I think that is much of the appeal for me..

    A trick I use when shaving them, I imagine a thin layer of water between the lather and the skin and I try and skim that as I shave using a very light touch, if I get it right then it is a WoW !!!!!! shave
    Geezer and DDTech like this.

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    Mortal Member bombay's Avatar
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    my first kamisori shave was this morning. i poked myself countless times with the toe point and gashed my neck with it though thankfully didnt really bleed as wasnt a slice. i did not feel right holding it at all but i am so excited to try again i am wishing stubble on my face. as soon as i post this i think i will actually try just one with the grain pass haha.

    im still a bit confused though. is the traditional style to have the stamps pointing away or towards your face????
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    I would say try it both ways and see which feels more natural and gives the best result to you.
    Every day without fail one should consider himself as dead-Tsunetomo

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    Quote Originally Posted by gssixgun View Post
    Kamisori are just so simple in their use and function I think that is much of the appeal for me..
    A trick I use when shaving them, I imagine a thin layer of water between the lather and the skin and I try and skim that as I shave using a very light touch, if I get it right then it is a WoW !!!!!! shave
    It was just my first attempt and already so much WoW. At some points it already felt like hovering over the lather. I'll really have to look into the "skim" thing . Thanks
    gssixgun likes this.

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    Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    The kanji (stamps) usually goes away from the face, I think it's so you can admire the beauty of the kamisori while shaving!
    Hur Svenska stålet biter kom låt oss pröfva på.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bombay View Post
    my first kamisori shave was this morning. i poked myself countless times with the toe point and gashed my neck with it though thankfully didnt really bleed as wasnt a slice. i did not feel right holding it at all but i am so excited to try again i am wishing stubble on my face. as soon as i post this i think i will actually try just one with the grain pass haha.
    im still a bit confused though. is the traditional style to have the stamps pointing away or towards your face????

    traditionally the ura = stamped side is pointing away from the face. Easy for a right handed person.

    hope Your next try turns out better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DDTech View Post
    traditionally the ura = stamped side is pointing away from the face. Easy for a right handed person.

    hope Your next try turns out better.
    Easy when shaving the right side of your face on the first pass down, yes. For the left side of your face it's a different matter in the beginning. I taught myself to shave that side left-handed and the first pass is XTG. So I supposedly do it the 'authentic' way with the omote (non-stamped side) against the skin and the ura pointing out but I'm still wondering it's really required. I wonder if the entire discussion isn't based on the false premise that the original users shaved themselves. I can imagine that kamisori were used by barbers and of course a barber -who can move around the client- doesn't face this problem.
    It is preferable to have a criminal as a servant rather than a fool because a criminal's actions are at least predictable.

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