If you think about Japanese craftsmanship, knives and swords often get all the limelight. But in the city of Sakai, where traditional metalwork goes back several centuries, there is one man who has created his legacy on something very different. Master blacksmith Yasuhiro Hirakawa is the only traditional scissor maker left in Japan.
Using ancient techniques, Hirakawa’s legendary scissors can take four times longer to produce than a traditional knife. To buy one of his pieces can set you back a hefty amount—his most valuable pair of scissors cost $35,000. For bonsai craftsmen like Masakazu Yoshikawa, however, it’s a little price to pay for the opportunity to work with the greatest quality tools and own the heritage.