The roots in scissors brought over to Japan from the Chinese mainland roughly 700 years ago. For this reason, they were known as “Toubasami.” China used to call Tou. However, by around the end of the Edo period, swordsmiths in Hakata were already making scissors of a similar shape to modern versions.
Since the Meiji period, Hakata swordsmiths began applying the traditional techniques of Japanese sword-making to produce things such as scissors and blades. These scissors were officially named Hakata scissors in 1892, a name is still in use today. As many swordsmiths lived in Hakata during medieval times―a period of war era ―it is speculated that they had made scissors.

Making a pair of scissors involves close to 100 separate steps, and it takes 16 years of training (eight years for hammering and eight years for sharpening) to become a master craftsman. Although Reisenmachi is said to have been home to roughly 20 scissor smiths prior to World War II, there is now only Mr. Seiichi Takayanagi, a third-generation scissor smith from the Takayanagi family, who continues to make Hakata scissors.
In order to make Hakata scissors robust and cut well, they are made by combining hard steel with high carbon content with softer metal.
Everything is done entirely by hand, lumps of metal are heated to 1,000 degrees and hammered repeatedly till they take on the shape of scissors.

It is said that Hakata scissors can hold an edge for good if they are well cared and used properly.
Mr. Takayanagi continues to wield his hammer in order to satisfy his ideal.

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スクリーンショット 2013-10-25 20.10.38