actually for very similar reasons, but honestly, it was not my call. I always want to share information about the craftsmen (even though it has bitten me in the ass a number of times). However, like maxim said, many craftsmen wont do business with us unless i dont share any information about them.
thats a good example too... and just the same, some restaurants will do this. Most of them will regret it, but just have a very difficult time telling the customer no (this is common in american too, as well as many other countries). Sometimes its because people have the belief that the customer is always right, and sometimes its because saying no is thought to be extremely rude.
Originally Posted by Von blewitt
i have no problem saying no if i dont agree with a guest, but i dont have the beaurocratic freedom to decline most requests, unfortunate but i do see your point.
I did it many times as a chef :D dont ever regret it !
Originally Posted by Von blewitt
yeah... its clearly a complicated issue, and most of the time i dont say anything about it... it just so happened that as you posted this, i just returned to my hotel from a craftsman's workshop where we had just finished a conversation about exactly this thing... and i've ended up having this conversation with every craftsman so far. Interestingly, i havent brought up the subject once.
do they all go 'those damn muricans have no respect for our pride!'? there are a lot of shady people who will taint the waters, and they ruin it for the rest of us who appreciate all the skill and blood sweat tears involved...
haha... for what its worth, its not just americans (though this kind of thinking is clearly very common in the US as a function of cultural norms)
Nope, but they are careful thats it. They have just seen increase of Japanese like knives overseas.
As your post say, Lets clone Shig, lets clone Kato, Masamoto etc.
Instead on come up with something new and unique, BTW i see many US or EU makers still do that ! They come up with some amazing unique knives
But if you want a Shig you get Shig lol, you need to remember they work with steel and knives for about 60 years now its not new for them !
They have different gilds and meetings knife-shows like we have here. So they study a lot steel, geometry finish etc. all of blacksmiths do and they continue to do it !!
So there is big reason why they do what they do. They can get about any kind of steel, from US EU Japan etc. So it is not like they are limited to do some kind of steel
I know that Shigefusa made Honyaki before and he also made some of Tamahage , SS, mono steel he experimented with all of them
And he saddled with what he think is best for his kind of knives ! And what he want to achieve with his knives
Believe me it is not what is cheapest or easiest to make that is important for them. If he wanted he could make knives fro Cowry X steel and even thought it will be 2k more in price he will still sell it because of his popularity.
But he simply dont because he thinks that steel is not good for his knives
i do love my shig, it is so smooth in every aspect, about as sexy a knife i could think of without bling. the steel is a joy as well. its not my favorite knife, but it reaches out to me in such a unique way that i probably wont ever let it go. it does puzzle me why one would want a clone of this instead of the real thing. real chicken soup, or out of a can? hmmmm
Shigefusa does finishing by hand, a fairly inefficient technique, if you ask makers who do all processes on the grinder (bar sharpening), but results in a finish that made Shigefusa famous among knife nuts in the first place. To do the same finish on a monosteel hardened ot 62-63RC is even more inefficient than on a soft clad knife, but again, the end result is worth for some.
Asking somebody to copy a grind is not a guarantee that the copy will be good. Shigefusa has tweaked their grind over years (I have seen different generations of Shiges), and current blades are much better cutters than blades before. Can this be captured in one copy? Maybe, as people often get lucky the first time. And that can be said about any grind. One has to get consistently good grinding a certain geometry (and reinforce it with an ongoing feedback) to guarantee a certain result.
That is why you see makers sticking to a geometry they have perfected grinding. Difficulty of a finish has to do with it somewhat - there are limits how much finishing can be done on a machine, so that forces people to adopt one geometry over another.
To say something is clone is to imply identical copy. Rarely the case, as conditions are different (forge to shape, soft cladding, etc). Reasonable approximation would be the best outcome.