The Fukakuryu series features an ATS-314 core, clad in stainless Damascus steel. A long time ago, when I was still cooking professionally, I used knives from Ryusen. Ryusen used to be one of the most popular OEM makers in Japan, as they had an excellent reputation for the knives they produced. More recently, they have stopped all OEM work to focus on their own brand. With this shift in philosophy, they have redoubled efforts to constantly make improvements to their various series (profiles, grinds, fit and finish, forging, heat treating, etc.). This is extremely apparent in their most recent offerings. They have done an excellent job at both researching on their own, as well as eliciting in-depth feedback from professional chefs and customers. Their business philosophy is such that they are open to new and better ways of doing things at every step of the way. When visiting Echizen on one of our Japan trips, we met with Ryusen Hamono, the maker of Blazen knives. Their commitment to excellence in grind quality, fit and finish, and consistency in each line they made was most impressive. Likewise, it was clear they took great care and pride in each step of the knife-making process, which they do entirely in-house. From the forging to the heat treating to the product design and packaging, they had smart, well thought-out processes in place. We are proud to be Ryusen's sole official dealership for the Americas.
The Fukakuryu wa-petty is very thin (not quite a laser, but close) and lightweight with a pointy, kiritsuke-shaped tip. The Damascus cladding is well done and not too loud, slightly muted by the acid etching on the blade. The fit and finish on the blade is very nice, including a chamfered choil. The handle is a modified octagonal maple with a coffin shape from the top down view. The ATS-314 core is exceptionally well heat treated, as they use molten salt baths in the process, which we agree is an excellent way to go about heat treating this steel. I have found it to be easier to sharpen and less brittle than VG-10.