Spotlight on Tajika

With our upcoming Tajika exhibition just around the corner, we wanted to delve a little deeper into the relevance of showcasing over 80 pairs of different handcrafted scissors! As one of our client’s said it best, “You know how crazy that sounds, right?”

We met the Tajika family before we even started the store. We liked the family’s story so much because for multiple generations they have been incredibly focused on one craft and one craft only – the art of making scissors. We knew we needed to have their scissors available when we launched because they were a brand we could truly stand behind with their incredibly well handcrafted products. At the time, many people gravitated towards their Copper Household scissors but when we visited their two-story studio in Ono city we found that they also produced many other types of scissors that were just as fascinating for the reason that each were directed towards a specific purpose. It made us think that the most basic tools that are taken for granted, could actually be specialized.

Since our first encounter with the Tajika family over three years ago, we’ve been slowly collecting scissors that contribute to the way we see the simple act of cutting in our everyday lives. For example, the SLD Steel Fabric scissors are the scissors that Angélique uses to cut fabric and the Household scissors are what we use to wrap gifts at the store. Prior to this, we only used one pair of scissors for everything, admittedly with dull blades and plastic handles. It was only after discovering Tajika that we realized it’s quite a joy to use the right tools for the right purpose.

Members of the Tajika family, originating with Daisuke’s great-grandfather, have been the only owners of the company, making it a family-run business for four generations. Decision-making, production, marketing, even packaging is done by the family members. At the moment the team includes three people: Takeo Tajika, his wife and their son, Daisuke Tajika and the three literally do everything themselves. Daisuke is in line to succeed his father. With this great responsibility, he expanded the company and created what is officially known as the TAjiKA brand, which currently has about seven or eight pairs of scissors, for example the Branch and Root Shears, Garden Clippers and Herb Shears, just to name a few. Many of the other specific types of scissors are in reality the brand TAKEJISAKU – the original scissor brand that Daisuke’s forbearers conceived. In a way, we are catching the brand and witnessing their evolution during a transition of ownership between father and son.

Much like their scissors, it’s fascinating to see machines that the Tajika family has developed for specialized tasks. Whether large or small, each machine in their atelier, located just across the street from their home, is meant to help produce an important component of a single pair of scissors. When we inquired further about the machines, we discovered the most captivating part to be how the father, Takeo Tajika, actually engineered most of them. We couldn’t believe that he had invented and made a lot of the apparatuses and tools that solve different scissor production issues that they have encountered throughout the years. Although the company was an inheritance, Takeo Tajika has clearly helped to push the boundaries of their manufacturing capabilities with his ingenuity.

It’s also refreshing to see Daisuke put his own spin on things. Whether he creates a new pair of scissors or expands on an idea his father created, it’s interesting to hear the stories of all these developments collide and flourish from nothing into tangible products. Each pair of scissors has a story and we’re really excited to be a small part of it with the introduction of our very own pair of Tajika x Nalata Nalata scissors, ‘The Blackened Scissors’ that will first be made available on the exhibition opening night and online soon after!

The Tajika collection, scissors that we consider to be the finest in the world, is created from the minds and hands of one family and to support an extinguishing craft is quite gratifying to say the least. I guess this exhibition is particularly meaningful to us because of the transformation we’ve seen Tajika undertake in just a few years. Four generations in and Daisuke Tajika is taking a huge leap of faith to represent the Tajika company, the one his great-grandfather started over a century ago, to showcase at their first international exhibition in New York in the pursuit of finding opportunities and connecting with new communities. When people ask us why we started Nalata Nalata, this studio is a good example of why. It goes without saying that a history as rich and an expertise as rare as the Tajika family’s should be shared with the world.

Written by Stevenson Aung

Stevenson Aung

October 15, 2016

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