Just wanted to say how important this kind of thing is to some of us. These knife makers, truly are the spiritual, and in many cases genetic descendants of the men who worked for months at a time crafting the finest swords the world has ever known. These knives are more than just cutlery, as you and most of the guys here know. It's incredibly cool to have this sort of insight into the industry, and makes the knives themselves that much more valuable as collectibles, and functional art. I have been cooking professionally for 16 years, and in that time I've used shop knives, and personal knives, Henckels, Wustoff, Sabatier, Victorinox, etc. I bought a Shun classic some years ago with about half a weeks pay, and I loved that knife, it still hangs on my magbar today, I recently made a return to restaurant work full time after only working part time, and here and there in kitchens for a number of years as I took on my own business ventures (still having fun with that, as you well know) and picked up a 240mm AS laser and it has been glued to my hand for just over a month, in that time I've grown to love the knife, but found some things that I knew I wanted a little different, and decided today to grab a 270mm kono kiritsuke, which will be my new primary knife, the thing is, I know the laser, and the shun before it, will always be in my collection, because when you make that connection with a tool, when it becomes an extension of your body, you don't part with it. Everyone has things in their life that they'll keep forever, my first motorcycle, a 100cc yamaha enduro is still leaning against my garage wall anxiously awaiting a restore and return to glory. These things become treasured, and eventually they become heirlooms, and information like that given in this thread provides the kind of knowledge and foundation that makes you want to take pride in the ownership of these unique and artfully crafted blades. I am proud to spend my money helping to keep this industry alive, my collection now includes knives from Kajiwara, Richmond, Tanaka, and Konosuke, with stones from Shapton, and all of these items used to make money in my life,and provide a great leisure activity as well, are just as important to me as the 150 year old Yanagiba used by my favourite sushi chef. It truly is special to have tools that I can say weren't stamped out on some assembly line by a 16 year old chinese kid getting paid a couple dollars a day.
Thanks for providing this level of customer experience. We do appreciate it.