One of the great standard knife companies in Japan, is the Tadafusa company. They will never compete with Shigefusa in the artisan stakes, but their knives are well made and reliable.
We're happy to have some of their Nashiji range in stock, which if you don't know, are in blue number 2 (Aogami) steel, with a nicely finished stainless cladding in a rustic finish.
They're a double-sided grind and come with an oval magnolia handle with a contrasting red pakkawood ferrule. They look and perform a lot better than the price suggests.
See the rest of them here, including a nice 165 Hiriki knife http://http://www.japanesechef.com.a...a-nashiji.html