Sasaoka Hasamiya / Tosa
|Satoru Sasaoka, second-generation maker of fine edge tools.|
In 1958 a youthful Eiji Sasaoka was sent to Osaka to start his first job and he had no idea what the work would be or what company it would be with.
Under the then-common shudan shushoku system of bulk employment the local Tosa education authority dispatched Eiji and busloads of other young graduates to Osaka, to be employed by companies at the centre of Japan's powerhouse post-war manufacturing sector. Young Eiji was assigned to work with a kajiya in Sakai producing traditional edge tools. His future was set.
For the first three years his role was minarai - watch and learn. In Japan it's said this is the time an apprentice steals his master's skills. After three years of diligent observation he was given his first opportunity to work with hot steel, and after twelve years Eiji Sasaoka returned to Tosa to found Sasaoka Hasami, producing hand-forged western and Japanese scissors, precision shears for bonsai, ikebana and professional gardeners, along with nata, kuwa and of course kitchen knives, which today account for about half of the company's customers.
Eiji's son Satoru looks as young as his father in 1958 so it is surprising to hear that he left life as a salaryman and joined his father in the family business over twenty years ago. As his father enjoys working his way toward semi retirement the younger Sasaoka san now shoulders much of the creative work of the business. We're pleased and proud to present Sasaoka knives here at Knife Japan.