This environmental portraiture series focuses on the essence of traditional Japanese craftsmanship and features Yasuhiro Hirakawa and his forge, Sasuke. Tucked away in the side streets of Sakai, Japan, Hirakawa is one of only five master knife and bonsai-scissor makers left in the country, and his work is truly remarkable. As a 22nd generation blacksmith, he employs only traditional techniques, resulting in products that are as rare as they are expensive. In fact, his most prized creation, a pair of bonsai scissors, can fetch upwards of $34,000.
The craft, skill, and attention to detail on display at Sasuke are simply unobtainable elsewhere, with Hirakawa's apprenticeship lasting a staggering 10 years, during which no questions are permitted. To date, no one has managed to complete the apprenticeship since Hirakawa began his tenure. It's a testament to the mastery of the craft that has been honed over generations.