Why are Japan's nail clippers of such startlingly high quality?
In recent years nail clippers have been getting attention as a gift brought back from Japan. Said to feature typical Japanese delicate use of technology and to be exceptionally easy-to-use, nail clippers always rank among the top choices of Chinese tourists for gifts to take back home from Japan.
The first places that come to mind where tourists buy such nail clippers are drugstores and volume sellers, but if they wanted an even higher quality item, it might be good for them to go to Tokyu Hands or Loft. These stores have a wide selection, including high-grade nail clippers created by skilled artisans and nail clippers with a magnifying glass attached that are a welcome gift to farsighted parents. But whichever you choose, the quality is guaranteed. For example, the Takumi no Waza series of nail clippers is manufactured by the company Green Bell, and its factory is in Seki, Gifu Prefecture, a town known as a center of Japanese sword making. That means the advanced technology used to make swords is being leveraged for those small nail clippers.
Even so, the mystery is why Japanese nail clippers are of such high quality. Of course, we can easily guess that it may have something to do with the Japanese people's skillful fingers and fastidiousness about details, but they are only nail clippers. Why was the quality refined to this level?
The key to unraveling that mystery lies in an old Japanese proverb. In the Middle Ages, a warning was given to children by parents in Japanese households.
"If you cut your fingernails at night, you won't be able to be with your parents when they die."A reason given is that you may hurt yourself and contract tetanus. Before the advent of modern nail cutters, Japanese people cut their nails with the blade of a small knife. In the dark of night, they sometimes slipped up and injured their fingers. Without a sanitary environment like we enjoy today, microorganisms entered wounds and festered, leading to death in the worst case. In other words, they would die before their parents.
There are various other theories, but it is very interesting to think that the quality of modern Japanese nail clippers may have resulted from the continued pursuit of safety to avoid injuries.
Of course it is difficult to injure yourself using modern Japanese nail clippers. If you visit Japan, why not look for a pair of favorite nail clippers of your own?