The Wonder 500

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Tanegashima Basami (Tanegashima scissors)

Tanegashima Island is known as the place where guns were first introduced to Japan. Makise Tanebasami Factory has been making scissors there for 37 generations. History says that at the same time guns came to Tanegashima Island, scissor making was taught by a Chinese blacksmith who had drifted ashore. That knowledge was merged with sword making techniques that already existed on the island and refined into a unique technology that produced Tanegashima scissors. The process that uses high-quality local iron sand from Kanehama Beach to craft scissors is similar to that used for Japanese swords, and it is precisely because those skills had been passed down over generations that the scissors were created. Each pair of scissors is crafted with dedication to produce a useful article that not only is sharp, but also has perfectly shaped handles that embody the artisan spirit.