The Japanese have a long history of making blades and an honorable track record for their samurai sword making methods. Today they are also known for their kitchen knives. In my opinion, their kitchen knives are like mini samurai swords. They are sharp.
The Germans are no slouches either when it comes to making knives. Solingen, Germany is a German knife mecca and that is where you will find the history of the major and more popular German knives.