SWORDS TO SCISSORS

TOPICS

SWORDS TO SCISSORS

Blades forged to perfection. The art of making shears, knives, scissors, and other cutlery is rooted in forging techniques that arrived in Japan in the sixth century. These techniques evolved with society, leading to the creation of Japanese swords as the samurai came into power. However, as times became more peaceful through the middle Edo period, the demand for these swords decreased. The Tokugawa shogunate collapsed, and in 1871 with the Meiji Restoration, sword prohibition was promulgated, destroying the samurai culture.

As swords evolved to be considered works of art, the significance of the Japanese sword changed. Before this, sword makers did not only deal in swords. The Edo Kanoko, an Edo guidebook published in 1687, introduced cutlery shops that sold broad-bladed fish knives and razors as a side business.Tokyo Cutlery employs the same techniques that blade-smiths have handed down over generations to forge sharp and durable blades. Yasukihagane steel holds the reputation for being the highest quality steel and the steel of choice for swordsmithing—all Tokyo Cutlery is made with yasukihagane. The steel is heated along with the base metal to over 1,000 degrees centigrade then forged by hand with a hammer.

The shimmering surfaces and sharpness of the blades are enough to take one’s breath away, and each cut glides through tough ingredients with little effort. Scissors trim cloth without damaging the material. And, regularly whetting the blades keeps them sharp for decades. Tokyo Cutlery’s blades maintain a reputation of being easy to use, and some say they last for a hundred years.

TOKYO CUTLERY/江戸刷毛東京打刃物

SERIES

CORDS OF TRADITION TOPICS

Japanese kumihimo, braided decorative cords, date back to the Asuka period when they were associated with Buddhist alter decorations and scripture, and seem to have come to Japan along with Buddhism. In the Heian period…

PREMIUM TEXTURE, PREMIUM CRAFTWORK TOPICS

Circa 1874, during the Meiji era, copies of French hairbrushes began popping up in shops around Japan. At first, these hairbrushes were called Western Brushes. Later, they went into mass production churning out machinem…

DOLLS OF VITALITY TOPICS

Edo. The name of the capital city before it took the name Tokyo. The craftsmen of the Edo period laid the foundation for Tokyo to adopt the western culture and further ripen it. The traditional crafts of Tokyo continue …

HOBBY TOOLS HARBORING EDO-NESS TOPICS

Bamboo sticks of varying thickness are brought together to form a fishing rod. The artisans who make these rods use what is called a jointed fishing rod construction, which pole makers developed during the Edo period. I…

WARM GEOMETRIC PATTERNS TOPICS

Formerly Souto, Southwest Tokyo’s Hachioji dates back to the Heian period, and it flourished in the silkworm breeding and reeling industries. Here the silk fabric Tama-ori came into existence. Tama-ori stretches back in…

PERSISTENCE IN PROTECTING TRADITION TOPICS

Glass production methods came to Japan around the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries via Portugal, the Netherlands, and China. It was the early eighteenth century when Edo Glass came into existence, primarily focusing …

THE TIP OF TRADITION: EDO BRUSHES TOPICS

Edo Brushes first appeared in 1732 in the Bankin Sugiwai Bukuro product directory. The catalog displayed an array of shapes and sizes as one would expect, and, while the company marketed them as Edo Brushes, they had a …

アセット 1