A crowd-funded effort by a Japanese cutlery manufacturer to produce a line of Japanese sword-inspired letter openers has exceeded its goal by an astounding 1,617%! Nikken Cutlery set out to make a line of souvenir letter openers inspired by the swords of famous Japanese samurai Toshizou Hijikata, Ryouma Sakamoto, and Oda Nobunaga, and utilized local crowdfunding site makuake to get the project off the ground.
With the goal of raising JPY 1M, and a portion of the proceeds earmarked as donations for the restoration of Kumamoto Castle and Aso Shrine after the disastrous Kumamoto Earthquake of 2016, the project finished its fund run with 3,238 donors and JPY 16,174,200 in pledges. This is monumental feat considering crowdfunding is only in its initial stages in the notoriously conservative Japanese economy.
Nikken Cutlery Co. Ltd. is a maker of scissors, kitchen knives, razors, and other steel cutting products established in Gifu Prefecture in 1946 (then known as Kumada Seisakusho). Nikken Cutlery has been in the headlines recently for creating a set of Japanese sword scissors, for which they won the 2016 Grand Prize for Best Japanese Souvenir from the Japan Tourism Agency. Besides the scissors and letter opener, they also make a line of katana-inspired nail cutters.