There is a cult of ignorance in the United States...nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that “my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.” -- Isaac Asimov
The difference in front end and back end is one of the things i appreciate with this knife. The front is very thin, the back sturdy...
In terms of cutting i think it cuts as well as most Japanese knives from the top of my mind. I'll do a comparison with a Shige and a couple of others during the coming week or two but as i don't always cook a lot during the weekdays it may not be tomorrow.
I noticed that with the passaround too. It's very sturdy and hefty in the handle and the tip seems quite spritely.