yeah... it looks like delamination, but the placement is odd. Maybe a problem with the steel, or maybe the most odd chipping i've ever seen.
Yikes! That's sure not something that you see everyday.
Devin is right. I haven't heard of that happening on a knife that was iron clad... It's just like the knife that split on Bill a while back. I believe he posted pics of it. It split right down the center. That knife is probably toast.
Wow. Bummer. Is anyone aware if there would be any form of recourse with Shigefusa?
I've contacted the vendor so we'll see. They don't have any in stock and it appears they don't expect any until fall.
I'm sure Iwasaki would be very interested in examining a blade of his with a defect like this. I would contact the seller and see what options you have.
I would work with the seller and have them contact Shig, to see what they want you to do. I know that you sometimes get weird behavior right at the edge on knives with very hard core steel and it sometimes takes a few sharpenings to get up into better, less chippy steel.
So you could see if it just sharpens out. But, if it was mine, I'd see what Shig had to say about it first.
"I gotta tell ya, this is pretty terrific. Ha hahaha, YEAH!" - Moe (w/ 2 knives). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVt4U...layer_embedded
I agree with trying to contact the distributor/Iizuka-san and see if I can get a replacement. Sharpening out the defective part could be a LOT of work only to find out you're getting nowhere. That crack could be very deep and it could grow. To sharpen it out, you need to do it by thinning both faces of the blade. Not only is that time consuming (unless you send it to someone like Jon who has a water wheel) but you will no longer be using a Shig. You'll be using a knife with Shig steel that someone has essentially reground. The joy of using a knife made by a master is greatest before it gets much sharpening. That's when you're experiencing what the knifemaker intended. Good luck. I guess you can find out really quick by just grinding away the edge without thinning and then thinning later if you find the crack is gone at some point...
japanwoodworker is refunding me for the knife, no hassle at all! Just snagged the last one from maxim to replace it!