Common uses of Japanese knives include slicing fish for sushi and sashimi and thinly slicing vegetables. The purpose of a particular knife varies with its shape and style.
Traditional Japanese knives designed for slicing fish include the yanagi, the takobiki and the fugubiki, which all have thin blades that make them well suited to delicate cutting. Cooks generally use the deba, which has a broader blade, for cutting whole fish. Knives designed for cutting vegetables include the usuba and the kamagata usuba, both of which can create thin slices of vegetables. The kamagata usuba has a more pointed tip than the usuba, making it better for precise work.