Yoshida Metal Industry Co. Ltd. was established in 1954 as a western tableware manufacturer in Niigata prefecture, producing hollow handled table knives for Western markets. In 1960 Yoshikin introduced the Bunmei series of knives, traditional Japanese-looking knives that used a new alloy steel, able to be sharpened like carbon steel, but with a mixture of molybdenum and vanadium that made the steel more resistant to rust (now known colloquially as Japanese steel).
In 1983, Yoshikin hired a Japanese industrial designer, Komin Yamada, to create a knife design that combined these two manufacturing techniques. Global knives were then first designed in 1985. Yamada was commissioned to develop a range of kitchen knives that was new and revolutionary, using the best materials available and the latest manufacturing techniques that would appeal to both the professional chef and at-home gourmet cooks.