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History of Shozaburo

Combining Tradition and Technology

In the middle of the 1880's, many of Japan's old customs began to give way to the strong influence of Western culture. This trend was apparent in every part of Japanese life from politics to society and culture. Clothing was no exception, as many Western style clothing stores began to open in major cities and the Japanese populace began trying these new fabrics and fashions.

The first shears by Shozaburo

This trends towards Western fashions was further accelerated when the government introduced laws prohibiting the samurai class from carrying swords and wearing their hair in certain styles. Along with this increased demand for Western fabrics and fashions, the tools used by Western tailors were also introduced to Japan for the first time. Before this time, the only tailor's tools used in Japan were those similar to knives used for cutting straight lines, and small hand-held shears used for more detailed cutting.

With the introduction of these Western style shears, Japanese people became much more aware of the possibilities in cutting cloth. Now curved patterns and even thick fabrics could be cut with ease, and Western style shears became a must for tailors and seamstresses. However, Japanese people had long been accustomed to using cutlery that, like the traditional Japanese swords, were light yet had an excellent cut. For this reason, many Japanese people felt that while the Western style shears were functionally sound, they were too heavy and cumbersome.

This inspired the renowned sword forger Master Yakichi (1860-1901) to begin researching the development of unique Japanese shears which would employ the same technology used in forging Japanese swords. As a result, Master Yakichi was able to create shears similar to the Western shears, but with the lightness and excellent cut of traditional Japanese cutlery. This was the origin of the modern day Japanese shears.

The temple to honor Master Yakichi

The founder of Shozaburo, Miura Shozaburo (1896-1982) studied the art of shears production from his early childhood. As a craftsman, he has carried on the shears production technologies first developed by Master Yakichi. In order to produce even more stable shears, machines have begun to play a greater role in the manufacturing process.

However, the final inspection is still made personally by a qualified craftsman to insure that the quality of the shears is never compromised. Miura Shozaburo dedicated his entire life to the study and manufacturing of shears, and he has greatly contributed to the popularity of Japanese shears.Today craftsman personally trained by Miura Shozaburo are still producing these fine shears. With the utmost in care, and with an unwavering devotion to the Shozaburo spirit, these craftsman produce quality shears one by one.