Size: overall length approx. 24 cm
Ubukeya, specializing in the manufacture and sale of knives, scissors and other bladed goods, is a long-established cutlery shop founded in 1783. The workshop and store was named "Ubukeya" after its reputation that razors, knives, scissors and tweezers forged and sharpened by Kinosuke, the founder, were so sharp that they "shaved, cut, and tweezed even ubuge (fine downy hair)." Ever since the time of its second-generation owner, Ubukeya has consistently taken the traditional business form of "artisan-merchant."
Artisan-merchants refer to merchants who not only sell manufactured goods, but those who take care of their finishing and maintenance themselves. During the Edo period, when it was common to repair and use tools for many, many years, there were artisan-merchants specializing not just in bladed goods but in all kinds of daily necessities such as umbrellas, geta (clogs) and lanterns. Ubukeya stocks unfinished, unsharpened bladed goods and their craftspeople carefully sharpen them with their own hands before presenting them for sale.
In addition to finishing the merchandise, repairs and maintenance are also important work for Ubukeya as an artisan-merchant. "At Ubukeya, what don't cut or don't get cut are tweezers and bonds with customers," this is a saying that has been handed down from generation to generation. In this era of mass-production and mass-consumption, it has become the norm to throw away tools once they become old. This means that the bond between seller and customer ends the moment the customer makes a purchase. However, Ubukeya takes the opposite approach, one in which the bond begins the moment the customer makes a purchase. As long as this bond continues, Ubukeya will continue to operate as a small cutlery shop, which has stayed the same for 230 years, in the middle of Tokyo with its rows of giant buildings.