Funayuki knives are traditional Japanese fishing knives that have come to be known as all-purpose knives. Under the designation, depending on the forge, are sometimes very different types of knives. In general, they resemble the Deba knife, but are much lighter and have a thinner blade. This also makes them suitable for use in processing vegetables. Classically, the blade is sharpened on one side, but sharpening on both sides is also possible.
Japanese Funayuki Knife - the traditional hand-forged knife of the fishermen
The Funayuki (舟行) is a traditional Japanese knife used by fishermen aboard their boats. Funayuki literally means "to go on a boat". These knives are often used by fishermen to clean, fillet, and inspect the quality of small or medium-sized fish. However, in the past, fishermen also used their Funayuki to prepare food for themselves (either at sea or back in port), so the knife also had to be able to cut meat, vegetables and fruit - just like the similarly versatile Santoku knife and Gyuto.
One might think that the Funayuki's blade shape resembles a Deba or Mioroshi Deba, but the Funayuki's blade is much lighter, thinner, and more maneuverable. Therefore, it should not be used for cutting bones, frozen foods, or other hard ingredients. Because the Funayuki's blade has a relatively flat blade profile, it is particularly well-suited for "push-cuts" and "pull-cuts," but it can also be used in a rocking motion to chop herbs or other ingredients. Not surprisingly, the Funayuki is great for filleting small fish, but it is also well suited for cutting up poultry.