The Darker Imperial Hinoki 2020 is exceptional. It is a single ply, made of the best quality Kiso Hinoki wood. Every single component and step of the development is excruciatingly carefully selected and controlled, making it one of the most exclusive blades on the market. Japanese Kiso Hinoki wood is so rare that we can only hope that Darker will continue to have access to the high-quality Hinoki wood from that area for many more years to come because once they run out, it will be another 250 years until the newer Hinoki trees will be aged enough to be once again used in the making of these beautifully crafted blades. Let's just say that the price is warranted. Any lines on the blade are characteristic of Hinoki wood. They are neither cracks nor signs of glueing/bonding. These are single-ply blades, made of pure HINOKI and each surface is very unique. Darker never glues pieces of Hinoki together but uses glue only to attach the grip pieces to the blade. Hinoki is a very fragile material. Very weak under the strong impact. Even with the rubbers, if you place the blade too roughly on the table it could possibly crack. That is why many Japanese users always carry spare blades, just in case. Handle with care. Resin is one of the characteristics of HINOKI wood. It may come out over time. It does not affect the function of the blade.
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