Now that I have more time with this knife in hand I thought I would mention some observations (in no particular organized way).
Up until now I have been using a Henckle 8" chefs knife. The Hattori, at times, feels a little awkward though it isn't really much of an issue. I think that will abate as I use it more and get used to the size. The blade is not only longer but wider. Being about half as thick it seems to glide through food better, the Henckle seems to be more brutish once it buries itself.
Having the longer blade has been nice on occasion as well, fewer strokes feels more efficient. When I was slicing up the chuck roast prior to grinding it was nice on the long strips.
Rob had mentioned some people don't like the lack of a bolster. It doesn't seem to make much difference to me. I don't have this knife in my hands 8 hours a day nor do I use it professionally so that might account for my neutral look at that. I will say that not having a bolster that back corner of the blade is like a second tip, and I have caught myself a couple times on it, thankfully I haven't cut myself there yet. It does remind me I need to pay more attention to what I am doing. Not having the bolster is almost like not having a safeguard in place.
Have I mentioned this thing is really really sharp?
When I am dicing up or making thin slices I sometimes use the knife to pick the food up off the cutting board. With the Hattori I have made a practice of using the knife spine first instead of blade first to do this. I don't want that edge moving towards my fingers.
The Hattori weighs slightly more than the Henckle but it is better balanced so it actually feels more nimble and less tiring to use.
All in all this knife is really a joy to use. I am loving it. Of course this might be the first step in a J-knife addiction... oh goodness, what have I gotten in to?