These are the two knives I’m looking at.
Either the 10” or the 8”
Takedas are very, very good knives. They are extremely well made, very thin. Takeda is one of the few makers to offer several "traditional" Japanese profiles like yanagiba and mukimono with "V" instead of chisel edges.
Takedas are not cheap. Still, they're very high value for what the are; but you may be able to get almost exactly the same bang for your less bucks with Moritaka. Note though, the "off the shelf" Moritakas from Chef Knives To Go are very thick (and robust). If you want a thin Takeda-type, you'll have to special order.
As you probably know they are san-mai/warikomi knives. That is, the hagane core (Hitachi YSS Aogami Super) is sandwiched between a jigane (ouer layer) of soft steel on each side. The edge itself is formed entirely from the AS hagane.
The jigane are finished in the kurouchi style, which means they are impregnated with coke smoke during the forging. It gives them a very rustic look, and some built-in corrosion resistance.
Personally, I dislike all cladded knives, don't care for kurouchi, and my personal experience with AS hasn't been unalloyed joy either. Also, I feel the Takeda gyuto profile is a little too flat. But don't let my personal issues and character flaws bother you too much. People like different things, and lots of people really love them.
At Takeda levels of quality, performance and price, it's as much what you don't want as what you do. No one should try and talk you into or out of anything, but it's sure useful to have enough information to make your own evaluation.
If you're interested we can break it down.
As it happens, I'm buying a high-end wa-gyuto by the end of next month. The short list includes Konosuke, Tadatsuna and Yusuke; all of which are even thinner than Takeda, with none "cladded" or kurouchi.
I do not think this is an accurate reduction of the basic information. I don't fault you for that --- this particular form of madness is new to you.
Some things to know:
1. Basic maintenance of carbon steel vs. stainless: In a professional kitchen, full of noise, bustle, heat, moisture, and general madness, carbon steel can be awkward to maintain. At home it is rather less so, but requires good habits of a kind many home cooks do not possess or wish to develop. The maintenance for carbon and stainless is the same; what varies is the time. Carbon must be wiped now, dried soon, and sharpened pretty soon-ish. Stainless must be wiped soon, dried pretty soon, and sharpened eventually. The primary place experts like BDL and Buzz would disagree is with the sharpening, to which I'll return. If you keep a slightly damp cloth next to your cutting board and remember to wipe with it every time you finish with an ingredient, and them wipe with a dry cloth when you're done cutting, your carbon steel will behave very nicely thanks. To do this, however, you will need to be organized about what's laid out on the counter and when you cut in relation to your other cooking processes. That will in turn teach you good habits, but if it's not something you think you can commit to, you should avoid carbon: rust sucks.
2. Sharpness of carbon steel vs. stainless: There is no absolute here. There are stainless alloys that take and keep a frightening edge, and carbon steels that are just plain rotten. On the whole, you get a little more for your money in carbon, but that mostly gets truer as your pockets get deeper. By which I mean simply that if you're going to drop $1000 on a knife, the carbon steel will be terrifyingly good and the stainless probably a scam, whereas at $10 you're pretty much on your own for guessing. In the kind of range most people seem to think is vaguely sane, let's say $50 to $200, there are no absolutes.
3. Japanese vs. Western: This is tricky. Japanese steels are in general superior, and on the whole cost less for what they are, but they're remarkably difficult to compare side-by-side with Western counterparts for a large number of reasons. Pros on Japanese: get sharp, stay sharp, great blade shapes, extremely light. Cons on Japanese: you will probably have to do your own sharpening, price will not be low, probably has to be purchased online.
4. Mass-produced vs. artisan-made: Artisan-made knives aren't made by some old master slaving away over a wood furnace. Not in anything resembling a sane price range, anyway. But because of the nature of commodity manufacturing, they work out to be cheaper for a given level of quality --- and not worth making in really low quality. Thus you can rarely find artisan-made really low-end knives. (They exist, but they're not worth exporting.) Shun and Global are mass-produced, which means they're in the same range but pricier than their artisan-made cousins, but have the advantage of enormous availability, customer service, and all that stuff.
5. Sharpening: You can sharpen your own or send them out, as you prefer. But some knives are a lot easier (and cheaper) to send out than others. Some knives can be maintained on a steel (honing rod), meaning they need sharpening less often, and others can't. The main difference there is whether they're ground basically symmetrically or not, which with the knives you're talking about is something that can be changed without enormous difficulty. Sharpening yourself is a skill, no matter what equipment you use, but some equipment makes it easier. Bear in mind that the investment for sharpening stuff is spread across all your knives by comparison to a service, which will charge per knife. That is, if it's only one knife and a service charges $20, it'll take 5 sharpenings to pay for $100 worth of kit, but if you have 5 knives it's equivalent in only one sharpening run. Sharpening freehand is fun, time-consuming, moderately pricey (say, $50 or so for basics), and works on all knives. Sharpening on a rod or jig system is less fun, less time-consuming, moderately to medium-pricey, and works on fewer knives, but you will get good results much more rapidly (easier learning curve). Sharpening on a high-quality electric (e.g. Chef's Choice) is not especially fun, quick, moderately pricey, and works on some knives. Sharpening services have to be researched with care, and range from terrible to fabulous, cheap to expensive, not necessarily respectively.
6. Sharpening --- how often?: Depends on the knife, your desired level of sharpness, the equipment you're using.... Urgh. If you like freakishly sharp edges, you have to keep after your knives well-nigh constantly, and the better the knife the more positively it will respond to this treatment. If you want a sort of functionally sharp edge, like you'd get on a brand-new Wusthof or Henckels knife, you should steel daily and sharpen every 4-6 months, depending on usage, if it's a German knife, and rather less than that if it's a decent mass-produced Japanese (e.g. Global or Shun). If you want a good edge, a Wusthof will need constant work, and a Shun will need sharpening every few months or so. A good artisan-produced Japanese knife won't need sharpening constantly, but it'll be sort of like driving a good sports car and never going more than 20mph, if you see what I mean --- it'll work, but it just won't ever show you what all the fuss is about.
Conclusions (at last!)
If, as I suspect, a Shun or Global is kind of the high end of what you have in mind, and if your home cutting/maintenance/organization habits are more or less normal for a solid home cook, you don't want carbon steel. You will probably get the best results out of Japanese stainless. For sharpening, unless you can seriously imagine that sharpening will be a fun hobby for you, I think the Chef's Choice models designed for Japanese knives --- they're thinking Shun and Global --- are an excellent choice. Get a good honing rod and use it daily, use the Chef's Choice every couple of months when the knife doesn't seem to quite have the "oomph" it had before, and you'll be quite satisfied. In this price range there are much better knives than Shun and Global, and I advise you to pay close attention to BDL's recommendations here --- although I know he's going to tell you to buy a Mac Pro, and I have a strong suspicion that he's dead right.
If I'm wrong about these things --- which is to say, if you're thinking that being really precise about knife maintenance and organization and sharpening sounds like a remarkably fun thing to do, and you can just feel the itch of a nasty obsession building --- then you should start saving your pennies and lusting after decent Japanese carbon steel. If you make that jump, you'll never look back. But if that doesn't match your lifestyle, you won't look back because you won't want to face the big hole in your wallet that got eaten by a knife you hated and worked so badly for you. Do you follow? I adore my collection of modestly terrifying Japanese carbon steel and my modestly lunatic collection of sharpening stones and such. I keep them in pretty frightening condition. I get really into having my board and cutting and stuff just so --- on a home scale, not a serious pro's. But I also know that my wife thinks I'm nuts, and I've shelled out more than I like to think doing this (and keep lusting after new stuff), and that's not for everyone. And you know what? However nuts my collection, you don't want to know what some of the guys around here --- or worse, at some of the hardcore knife boards --- have dropped on their stuff. It beggars the imagination.
Hope this has been helpful.
And yes, when in doubt, listen to BDL.