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Hori Hori | EarthCare Tool Profile

Updated: May 3

A photo of two hori hori Japanese Garden Knives surrounded by plants.

The hori hori, also known as a Japanese Garden Knife, is our favorite must-have gardening tool. Every LadyBug has one in their toolkit, and you may even catch us carrying them around on our person at all times! Originally used to carefully extract sansai plants from the Japanese mountainside, the hori hori has evolved into a multi-purpose gardening essential.

The hori hori features a 7-inch long, concave blade, which is perfect for digging through tough soil. Measurement markings on the blade make it easy to plant bulbs at the correct depth. One side of the knife is smooth, while the other is deeply serrated, allowing it to cut through thicker stems and roots with ease. The smooth side can even substitute for an ax, while the serrated edge can function as a handsaw, depending on the sharpness.

Interestingly, the hori hori has a rich history that extends beyond its use in the garden. During the era of feudal Japan, Japanese peasants working in rice fields were not allowed to carry weapons, as a means to discourage rebellion against their feudal lords. The hori hori, measuring just a few inches shorter than a samurai's shortsword, was cleverly disguised as a gardening tool, allowing peasants to carry it without raising suspicion.

The LadyBugs love the hori hori's versatility and evolution through generations of EarthWorkers around the world. Its durability and multifunctionality make it a must-have for any gardener or landscaper.

A photo of a hori hori Japanese Garden Knife planting bulbs in the soil, showcasing the convenient measurements included on the knife.

Hori hori resources:

*Note: These are not affiliate links. LadyBug EarthCare does not receive any compensation from sharing. We are providing these as a helpful resource we trust and use ourselves.

Written by Olivia M | Updated in 2024 by Morgan L


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