Making $35,000 Bonsai Scissors

When it comes to Japanese craftsmanship, knives often get all the glory. But in the city of Sakai, where traditional metalwork goes back centuries, there is one man who has built his legacy on something a little different. Master blacksmith Yasuhiro Hirakawa is the only traditional scissor maker left in Japan. Using ancient methods, Hirakawa’s legendary scissors can take four times longer to forge than a traditional knife. To buy one of his creations can set you back a hefty amount—his most expensive pair of scissors cost $35,000. For bonsai craftsmen like Masakazu Yoshikawa, however, it’s a small price to pay for the chance to work with the highest quality tools.