Posted in an old Ittosai thread but I'm not sure of how others read these boards and it may not have gotten any notice, so if it's OK I'd like to ask in a new thread.
I realize that Ittosai Kotetsu knives are old news, like A-types and others from the "first wave" of the current Japanese cutlery movement in the west. On Monday I was in Tokyo for a few hours and had a chance to visit some of my (now-)favorite knife shops on Kappabashi-dori. I wasn't really looking for something specific, but asked my friends at Union Commerce if they had any nice nakiri I could check out. I was presented with a range from cheap to expensive, a name I did not recognize in tool steel for ¥5000 (about $65) to a Masamoto Sohonten KK in white #2 with typical Masamoto F&F for ¥12,500 (~$160). All of them were kuro-uchi style finish, which I don't find objectionable, but then he brought out the Ittosai Kotetsu 165 in ao-niko (blue #2) with a brushed kasumi finish, I kind of fell in love. At ¥10,000 (~$120) with very reasonable F&F and a nice handle (I don't know my woods, but it's either mahogany or rosewood ), I think it's a steal. Most of what I've been able to find out about Ittosai Kotetsu has been the observations that the gyutos available in the past have been VG-10 or stainless, and apparently OEMd by Ryusen. I haven't read much about Ittosai's carbon knives, and nothing about blue #2 blades.
Does anybody know any more about them?
Sorry about the crappy pictures; the light dropped quickly. Hopefully these can give some insight.