Kamisori Shaving Video--First Try

Discussion in 'Straight Razors' started by JimR, Oct 18, 2009.

  1. JimR

    JimR Active Member

    I posted this on another forum, thought you folks might be interested too.

    ("Kamisori" here means a traditional Japanese straight razor, not the beautician supply company...FYI).

    OK, so I finally worked up the nerve to do this...of course, the camera angle is crappy, and it cuts off at the ten minute mark (there's another minute and a half or so, if anyone wants to see it I can upload it separately) but I HOPE the grips and angles are clear enough to those wondering about using these razors. I'll make a better one sometime, I guess...if I can figure out what to do with my camera.

    In the video, I mention the WTG/ATG/XTG a lot, but I try not to think about it a lot when using a Kamisori, because the most important thing to me is finding the simplest angle with the Omote on the face. For really tough hair (around my "goatee area") I go WTG because I can , and because the hair cuts easier that way. Everywhere else, I just find what works at the time.

    You'll notice I'm still working on stretching/weird expressions. If anyone has any advice, PLEASE feel free.

    Also, my left hand sometimes has a mind of its own. Pay no attention. That's exactly what it wants...

    I shave this way because it works for me. If it doesn't work for you, don't shave this way--like I said, when it comes to Kamisori I'm a traditionalist because I was taught by a traditionalist. I trust him. But it's your face, and your razor, so do what you feel is best.

    That's a vintage size 2 (ni-chou-gake) Kamisori stamped 1968 (convenient that...) but the maker's name is very difficult to read--Chikushino, perhaps.

    ALSO, I have no idea why my face looks that red in the video. It certainly didn't in the mirror...

    Sooo....be kind!

    Karl G and pvtbanks like this.
  2. Queen of Blades

    Queen of Blades Mistress of Mischief Staff Member

    Moderator Supporting Vendor
  3. CSBudzi

    CSBudzi Member

    NICE! Been waiting to see a Japanese Straight video! Bravo. And pretty nice quality too. I am however a little disappointed that your avatar is not a real sketch of you. But thats ok because I've never been on the cover of Life and I'm not Papa Hemingway.

    So is there a specific way to hold a Japanese straight? It seems as though everything they do there has a specific way with a metaphoric and philosophical purpose to it. I'm very interested in the culture over there, and I have a feeling that they know how to do it better then us westerns. Like the Japanese pull saw as opposed to our saws.
    Looking forward to anymore videos you may post.
    C. S. Budzi
  4. Baloosh

    Baloosh Duder

    Dude, those were some impressive micro-swipes with that razor! Nice job!

    Also, does Quentin Tarantino know he stole your facial expressions? The whole 10 minutes, I was reminded of every interview I've seen of him, and every movie clip with him in it.
  5. JimR

    JimR Active Member

    Thanks very much, guys. I was incredibly nervous posting that video, but oddly not nervous at all making it.

    C. S. Yeah, I know...it's a shock to most, to find out I'm not actually Musashi. I hope you recover soon. ;)

    Baloosh, thanks for the compliment! The shorter blade on the kamisori really lends itself to the "micro-swipes".

    I forgot to add--that shave was super good. I shaved last night, and when I woke up this morning I was still BBS. My wife even remarked on it...A good razor.
  6. MadCapsule

    MadCapsule Member

    You know what this thread is?

    Pandora's box; that's what it is. I'm really starting to wish I hadn't opened it.

    The word "kamisori" is what caught my eye. I have a series of Japanese exploitation movies starring a character that goes by the name Kamisori Hanzo.

    Nice video. That looks like a really cool way to shave!
  7. sol92258

    sol92258 I have no earthly idea

    nice video, kudos on the courage to put your mug on the interwebs, no telling what male enhancement drug you'll be "advertising" tomorrow! :happy097

    In seriousness, great vid, that's certainly an interesting razor there, I think I'll need to read more about them.
  8. JimR

    JimR Active Member

    Madcapsule...Run. Run now. ;)

    I just realized I didn't answer your question--the grip is mostly dictated by how you're shaving, but some basic rules seem to apply--hold it loosely, using mostly your thumb and forefinger, and the other fingers for balance or angle adjustment.
  9. moviemaniac

    moviemaniac Tool Time

    It's great to finally see your mug too :D

    Great video - there's nothing I could add being a Kamisori-shaver myself :)
  10. FrostFirus

    FrostFirus New Member

    Good video, interesting to watch.

    Agree with CSBudzi, interesting to see a traditional eastern approach to shaving. I also have a fascination with eastern cultures, particularly philosophical differance with with western culture.
  11. boyextraordinare

    boyextraordinare New Member


    Out of curiosity, can you shave in various directions first pass with ordinary razors?
  12. boyextraordinare

    boyextraordinare New Member

    More people need to post videos.

    I made a series in March, basically ludicrous, all transferred to my GF's computer, whose HD burned out.

    I think I need to pop out another soon, ostensibly to demonstrate my shaving technique but in reality to show off my President Ahmadinejad Jacket, appropriated for 2 USD in an Iranian bazaar.
  13. Zach

    Zach New Member

    Great job, Jim.
    A most magnificent display of 忍耐 !
  14. JimR

    JimR Active Member

    Thank again guys!

    Kaveh, I tend to leave out any WTG with all razors, but only with heavier grinds can I be really free of the grain. Hollower blades tend to deform a bit and catch the skin too much...
  15. mantic

    mantic U TOOB

    Good job! Added to my "other shaving videos" play list. Welcome to my world. :D

  16. ChemErik

    ChemErik Mr. Personality

    Very nice. Having never seen Japanese straight in action that was very imformative. Don't think I'll be picking one up anytime soon, but it will go to that list of things to do if I ever have more time.
    Looks like a Semogue brush?
    Also, my hair looked like very much like yours back in high school, unfortunately much of it has fallen out since.
  17. sol92258

    sol92258 I have no earthly idea


    That's like having Michael Jackson say, "Hey! Great dance moves! Mind if I use it?" :happy102
  18. PalmettoB

    PalmettoB The Old Guard

    Nice stuff, Jim. Made it a sticky in the straight razor forum. Thanks for the great work!
  19. JimR

    JimR Active Member

    Thanks very much guys! I'm glad some find it at least informative, if not helpful.

    Erik, yep, it's a Semogue 1305--I thought I mentioned it in the video, sorry. 1305 and English Fern Shave soap.

    Wow! Thanks Mark! Geez...I better practice my autograph! ;)
  20. fozz77

    fozz77 New Member

    Nice video Jim. It answers a lot of questions i had.

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