Recently I had the pleasure to visit Roy Nagatoshi in LA, California, and this is the result:
"In the very beginning it took me about a week to really get used to this. it is so different then what we had before. Now it actually IS the tool number one. I always use it and always have it with me. On some days I only use this tool. I work a lot with this, believe me, and it is still amazingly sharp after three weeks. Normal tools I have to sharpen ever other day."
Besides all the properties of Ichiban that have been advertised and been spoken about I think maybe the most important one has been overseen so far: A person who has a collection or a nursery will walk through the garden at least once a day and often several times a day. You know what happens: here is a little branch that is dead an should be cut off, here are a few suckers that need to be cut off soon, here is a little wired branch and the wire should be cut because it starts biting in, here is a thicker branch that needs to come off soon, here are stumps that are left over from spring and should go.
Well, what happens? Usually nothing, because one needs the right tools to do the job immediately. Or the bonsaiist goes back to the workshop and gets the right tool. Usually he will say 'I do this later'; 'later 'being a synonym of 'never'. Or he constantly carries four tools with him which ruin his pockets.
The answer is Ichiban. It is the perfect tool to walk the nursery and do the little jobs RIGHT THERE.