Searching all of Japan for handcrafted items that express its heart and soul, our proprietor, KASHIYUKA, presents things that bring a bit of luxury to everyday life. This time she journeys to the city of Ono in Hyogo prefecture, known for its manufacture of traditional Japanese scissors. Here she’s introduced to a beautiful pair for cutting flowers and herbs, from a studio that’s been at work for about 80 years.
As a result of spending more time at home since last spring I developed a love for flower settings. When I found I wanted a pair of specialized scissors for this I called upon Tajika Haruo Hasami Seisakusho, established in 1938. Ono city in Hyogo prefecture has been known since antiquity for its cutlery production, and this studio has been handcrafting scissors for four generations.
“Most traditional Japanese scissors are made using the tsuke-hagane method, folding layers of iron with steel, the steel providing the carbon not found in iron” says fourth-generation crafter, Mr. Daisuke Tajika. Today, he and third-generation crafter Takeo, along with other members of the family are making a variety of scissor types.
The studio made its name with a type of scissor called “rasha kiribasami”, specialized for use with textile. They’d been focused on scissors for a professional user base, but in 2008 launched their TAjiKA brand, based on Daisuke Tajika’s belief that they should be applying their skill in production to serving ordinary users’ needs. When I tried out the TAjiKA botanical shears I was astounded by their breathtaking sharpness! Shoop, snip, click — it was like nothing I’ve ever felt.
“Because we’re putting the same technology into them that we do for textile scissors, they cut well. But that’s not all there is to them. We want people to enjoy using them, so we emphasize the accommodating shape and the overall feeling they have in the hand,” said Takeo Tajika, who, with the elder Daisuke, showed me around the studio that has remained at work for over 80 years.
In the studio, roaring with various noises, many processes are carried out at once. One is forging, by which the blade is heated to 900° C (1,650° F), and beaten into shape. Another is polishing, which employs a series of machines in the creation of a single pair of scissors.