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Tanebasami Craft and Fabric Scissors (black)

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Product Description

Traditional Japanese scissors. Amazingly sharp!
YSS Shirogami white#1 steel.
Hand-forged on Tanegashima Island.

When we first heard of these scissors, older and wiser heads convinced us that because of their special steel and their unique blade shape and action that they are actually self sharpening, something we'd never heard of but were rather enthusiastic about. We had to have a pair!

So we journeyed to Tanegashima, where Ikenami san of the Ikenami Hamono company set us straight. There's no such thing as self-sharpening scissors (he was looking at us a bit oddly, come to think of it.)

Final shaping of the handle

But Tanebasami are the next best thing. You just won't credit how wonderful these scissors really are. Cutting fabric is like cutting nothing at all, with an incredibly smooth blade action that cuts right to the very tip. Choki-choki! They're hand-forged and hand-finished by a Master Craftsman. A real one.

They're beautiful, or at least we think so. They have a wonderful balance and cut unbelievably cleanly (this we know). And they have an intangible quality that just makes you want to go around cutting things.

Sizes are in the old measure of Japanese 'sun', (written as sun-small.jpg and pronounced as in 'gesundheit'), hence the unusual sizes.

4 sun
Overall length:
12.12 cm

For very fine handcrafts, threads and general snipping around the home. Really cute.
Weight in hand: 32g

5 sun
Overall length:
15.15 cm

Excellent tools for patchwork, papercrafts, book-binding and repairs, or any task where precision is more important than blade length.
Weight in hand: 58g

6 sun
Overall length:
18.18 cm

The best blade length for general-purpose scissors.
Weight in hand: 85g

7.5 sun
Overall Length:
22.7 cm

If you love sewing you'll adore these scissors - they're perfect for fabrics and pattern cutting.
Weight in hand: 176g

If you'd like some background on how these wonderful tools are made (and the people who make them) please take a look at our special feature page 'a morning with the makers' here. We also have a very interesting video showing how tanebasami are made, to view click on the 'product videos' tab just up there, under our very stylish 'Add to Cart' button...

Tanebasami can also be purchased in lovely presentation gift sets. You'll find the full range here.

The black finish seen on these tanebasami is achieved by the application of special oils at the end of the forging process. The blackened surfaces are corrosion resistant and give these traditional scissors a lovely antique look and feel. In case you missed it there are two styles of tanebasami scissors, these and their non-blackened counterparts that we like to think of as 'classic style' (you can order those here). The classic style are a *slightly* lower price and feature a lovely glossy handle (which feels great) and 'naked' high-carbon steel blades. The cutting feel of both styles is exactly the same.

Certified as a product of cultural and historical significance by the Kagoshima Prefectural Government


Tanegashima Island lies south of the main islands of Japan, at an intersection of winds and currents that over the centuries delivered new people, technologies and commodities to its shores. Bread, tobacco, scissors, guns - all were first introduced to Japan through Tanegashima. 

Some historians believe that Japan's first iron-making may have occurred on Tanegashima, the technology having arrived from the west or south or both independently, and that it was the island's plentiful sa-tetsu iron-sand that went into making Japan's first iron. 

In any case the technology of manufacturing hagane jewel-steel was central to the island's culture and prosperity for many centuries. Tens of generations of craftsmen passed on the time-honored methods and skills required for the forging of Tanegashima's knives and scissors, 'tane-bocho' and 'tane-basami'.

See here for more about Tanegashima's fascinating history.

Tanegashima's edge tools are renowned for their beauty, utility and craftsmanship. Since 2010 Tanegashima Hamono has delivered these wonderful knives, scissors and shears to customers all over the world.

'Hamono' is the Japanese term for 'edge tool', hence 'Tanegashima Hamono' as our business name. The 'tanebocho' in our domain name is the Japanese for a knife made on the island. 

See our contact page for more information about us.

We accept all major credit cards through our PayPal credit-card payment facility. PayPal members may also choose to pay with their PayPal account balance. Payment data is secure, private and is not shared with the owners of this website.

To make a purchase, add the product to your shopping cart and proceed to checkout. On confirming your order and entering your shipping details you will be guided through the payment process on PayPal's secure payments page. When you have completed payment you will be returned to the Tanegashima Hamono website.

We will send a confirmation of your order to you by email, followed by an email advising of your shipping details for tracking purposes.

Please refer to our ordering and shipping page for more info about purchasing from Tanegashima Hamono.

We use Japan Post's EMS international express service to deliver products quickly and efficiently worldwide. It's the most cost-effective way to send your insured, trackable shipment from Japan.

Please refer to our ordering and shipping page for full details.

We have a generous returns policy. If things don't work out you may choose a replacement item, a store credit, or a full refund.

Our full returns policy is explained here. 

Sharp-eyed visitors will have spotted the Kagoshima Prefecture 'Dentou Kougei' mark on our product photographs. What's that about?

Dentou Kougei translates to 'Traditional Industrial Art'. Japan as a nation is very proud of its long heritage in hand-made industrial products and has the Dentou Kougei system of recognition and certification for true traditionalists. It's a means of identifying and supporting the shokunin master craftsmen and craftswomen who preserve this aspect of Japanese culture.

Products must be truly hand-made and not machine fabricated. In addition to methods employed in manufacture, makers that qualify must have a certain continuous history of production and the guild to which they belong must meet certain requirements pertaining to membership, length of establishment and turnover. 

The rigorous Dentou Kougei certification process guarantees a product is among 'best of breed' and truly hand-crafted. 

'Dentou Kougei' certification is not specific to knives. Products that bear this mark might be kimono sashes, chopsticks, lacquerware, jewellery, fountain pens, leather accessories, archery bows, cricket cages - it is a long and wonderful list and for lovers of Japanese culture well worth investigation. It was in part our enthusiasm for Dentou Kougei that led to the creation of the Tanegashima Hamono business and website.

If there's something you'd like to know and we haven't covered it please contact us by email, we'll most likely get back to you on the same day, if not immediately.

Please use the enquiry form on this page.

If it can't wait you can call or message us on +81 80 4267 0766, but please bear in mind we're on Japan time and may not be awake when you are. There's voice mail in the event we're not available, in which case you can leave your number and a short message and we will return your call.

Product Videos

Forging Tanebasami scissors (08:33)
A fascinating look at the hand-forging of Japan's famous Tanebasami scissors.Crafted on Tanegashima Island since the 1540's, using the techniques of master sword-makers, Tanebasami have a dream-like cutting ability and feel wonderfully warm in your hand - they're unlike any other scissors. Admiring their beautiful form is almost as much fun as using them! More information at www.tanebocho.com
  • Forging Taneba...
    A fascinating look at the hand-forging of Japan's famous Taneb...

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Product Reviews

  1. I think I have an addiction 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 17th Nov 2011

    Two beautiful cooking knives wasn't enough, I had to get the fabric scissors...now I'm considering my next purchase. I am so impressed with the high quality of the craftmanship. I just can't get enough!

  2. 世界に自慢したい逸品です! 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 9th Nov 2011





    I want the whole world to know about these!

    These scissors are a world away from mass-produced stationery.

    When I cut with them it's like a new feeling - more than just sharp, I'd say 'moist'. Being all steel I imagined them to feel cold but they're quite the opposite - from when I first tried them they felt lovely and warm and light and my hand just adapted to them straight away.

    It's weird but they feel so good to use that I just lose any sense of nervousness or worry about making a mistake (I feel like an expert...)

    I think these days a lot more people are looking for quality products that they can have and use for a long time. Make no mistake, these scissors are "truly good".

  3. Perfection 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 16th Jun 2011

    I am delighted with them. These scissors are truely amazing. I was expecting them to cut as well as they do, (which is perfectly), but not with such little effort. I also love the seemingly opposite traits of being hand wrought and rough in an organic sense, and flawless on the cutting edge. Hard to believe the precision and matching of the blades. It took a little while to get used to the metal handle, since I was coming from a moulded plastic pair, but the change is much better. Also nice to have something that will outlast me in this throw-away society. They really are very special. The packaging is beautiful and the fabric holder is both practical and beautiful. I will order another pair for my mother for her birthday who does Calligraphy and therefore cuts paper a fair bit.

  4. 長い歴史のなかで育まれた機能とその品格の良さが光る一品 4 Star Review

    Posted by on 12th Jun 2011


  5. 色や形が渋い 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 31st Mar 2011


    Groovy shape and colour, their weight oozes quality and of course they cut *really* well. I'm looking forward to using my special occasion scissors!

  6. Tanebasami 15cm 4 Star Review

    Posted by on 1st Feb 2011

    高度な材質と熱処理、入念な仕上げが感じられる。正に匠の作品と云える。 紙など切っては申し訳ない位だ。 
    When I use these scissors I can really tell such care and skill has gone into making them. With such high quality material and forging they can only be made by a real craftsman. No doubt.
    I feel guilty cutting paper with them. Lately I’ve even been using them for trimming my hair!
    (For multi-purpose use I recommend a bit bigger pair than the ones I bought.)

  7. とても使いやすい鋏です 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 16th Jan 2011


    Really easy-to-use scissors.

    I bought the 12.12cm scissors. The tips are very sharply pointed and that helps a lot with the fine cutting work I do. The feeling of cutting with them is quite extraordinary. I love fabric crafts and I’m always making something. The length of these scissors makes them very easy to use, they're a lovely shape and that they cut so well makes my favourite hobby even more fun.

  8. 使って納得です。 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 8th Nov 2010


    After using them, I get it!
    They really do cut beautifully. You can cut crisply right to the very tip.
    Personally I really like the retro look v(^v^)

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