About the Shape - Under utilized in the western kitchen, the nakiri’s flat blade is meant for the push/pull chopping of vegetables. Since the entire flat edge of the knife touches the cutting board at once, you wont be turning the vegetable into an 'accordion', still connected like a paper doll after you've cut them. The added weight of the blade allows it to fall through food more easily while you chop, so the knife does more of the work for you! Masakage nakiris are made taller than the average nakiri so they last longer and work better for folks with large hands.
About Yoshida Hamono - The first generation of the Yoshida family was, like many, a swordsmith. After WWII, they decided to open a small workshop to produce knives and other steel tools, and in 1971 they expanded to a large scale production to meet a growing demand from all over Japan. They invested early in modern machinery that made large-scale production possible, which is one of the reasons why they have the ability to clad their own steel, rather than buying it pre-laminated. Because Saga is not a major production center for knives and there are not many other craftsmen, they have built a facility that can handle the knife making process entirely from start to finish.
In 2017 when the ZDP-189 became first available, Osamu Yoshida quickly purchased the steel and tried it out. He was amazed by how insanely sharp the steel could get and how long it would keep its edge, so he started making kitchen knives using this super steel. Despite being hard steel to deal with, he feels a great sense of accomplishment when he forges with it compared to other steels.