Takeda Hamono used to be known for making some of the thinnest knives that could be found. They were forged with a unique cross section that allows for good food release, great sturdy kurouchi finish, prefect flat bevels that locked onto stones for easy sharpening, and ground so thin at the edge bevel that their knives would simply fall through the food being cut. In the last couple of years we've seen these knives getting thicker and thicker, the bevels ground more convex (not flat) which makes for difficult sharpening, and the kurouchi finish easily wearing off.
The knife being shown below is a typical new style thick wedgy bevel Takeda. Actually the very edge itself was thin enough but directly behind it the grind is convex and then there's a really thick hump/lump of steel at the shoulder (where the bevel transitions into the blade face). Also, the kurouchi finish shows it's wear here pretty badly. This knife came in for sharpening service but had some edge damage which meant that I had to grind up into the edge bevel to remove the nicks making the edge bevel even more thick. This then meant that I had to correct by raising (grinding) the shoulder of the bevel up into the kurouchi portion of blade face.
On the nicely ground old stock Takeda gyutos this was an easy and even pleasant task to do but not so here on this new style knife. This simple task, to thin the edge bevel (grind down the hump/lump), took me over 5 hrs to accomplish by hand!! The total sharpening job on the knife was over 6hrs!!!
Why did I do this all by hand and not use my belt grinder? Because I found a Moritaka style overground section just in front of the heel (something new for Takeda) and this required that I use a gentle touch to which I felt could only be done through hand sharpening on stones. I wasn't thrilled with this but I pressed on.
In the end I believe that I've modified this knife into one of the best performing Takedas that has ever existed. I am 100% confident that the customer will be blown away when it gets back in her hands. Still though, you can see some pretty deep hammer blow marks at the shoulder (again something new for Takeda) that remain ugly - it's certainly not the prettiest Takeda I've laid my eyes upon - sort of a sleeper (now) ......I guess you could say.