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Alluring traditional crafts made of metal yet are pleasant to touch.

Craft, Culture2016.09.01

Casting techniques passed down over a period of 400 years in Takaoka, Toyama Prefecture, are now charming the world. Among those using them, "Nousaku", a group with technical excellence who are able to manipulate tin and brass as they wish, has been attracting particular attention.
How about incorporating their artistic traditional crafts, which exude warmth despite being made of metal, into your everyday life?

About Takaoka Copperware & "Nousaku"

It is said that around 90% of the copperware produced in Japan is from Takaoka, Toyama Prefecture, an area famous for Takaoka copperware.
Since the opening of the Hokuriku Shinkansen, Takaoka has seeing a rise in popularity as a tourist attraction as a "craft city where you can experience tradition" with its old streets, temples and, of course, Takaoka copperware. Takaoka received protection from the Kaga Domain that ruled over the Hokuriku region and, as a town of commerce and industry, has cultivated and evolved its history and culture over 400 years.

With its handsome visage, Takaoka's Great Buddha is said to be one of the three Great Buddhas over Japan, along with those in Nara and Kamakura.
Metal products including copperware are made using a technique called "chuzo", or casting in English.
After heating metal to a high temperature and making into a liquid, it is poured into a mold and chilled. The techniques involved in removing it from this mold and processing it are filled with experienced skills accumulated over many years of making Takaoka copperware.

At Nousaku, which was founded in 1916, advanced techniques passed down unbroken through this land are used as a foundation. On top of these, new manufacturing methods such as numerical control machining and 3D printing are also proactively introduced. Focusing mainly on tableware, they continue to explore design possibilities that make the most of the material used for the purpose of creating items that all will love.

Tableware made using highly anti-bacterial tin

The history of tin, which is known as a metal with the greatest value after gold and silver, is long. In ancient times it was used in the special items of royalty and nobility.
It also has high anti-bacterial properties. Water kept in a tin container is said to not go bad and is also said to get rid of the coarse taste of alcohol for a more delicious taste, and so tin items such as sake containers and tea utensils came to be popular among the general public.

The tin of Nousaku is 100% pure. Tin with 100% purity is very soft so more sophisticated techniques are needed to process it. Accordingly, it has a warmth that feels pleasant against the skin despite being a metal.
Enjoy using 100% pure tin tableware proudly brought to you by Nousaku in various settings of your life.

Enjoy your drink while taking in a view of Mt. Fuji, "Mt. Fuji Sake Cup, FUJIYAMA"

JP¥ 4,600

See Item HERE

■Enjoy stylishly using it a number of ways!
This tinware with a slightly unusual form is called a "katakuchi" and is used for pouring sake into each individual sake cup. This is an essential piece of tableware for when you have people over for a drink, yet it is not used so much in daily life.
However, this katakuchi is in a slightly large shape, so you can use it to hold dressing, small appetizers and also as a vase to decorate your dining table. Also, as a bonus, research has found that the sterilizing effect of tin reduces adhesion of bacteria on cut flowers. Open up your heart and welcome tinware into your life with these items.

As well as sake, you can also use this for dressing and flowers, "Katakuchi Sake Cup, Large"

JP¥ 7,000

See Item HERE

A gorgeous collaboration with a traditional craft from Hokuriku, "Katakuchi Sake Cup, Large, Gold Leaf"

JP¥ 10,300

See Item HERE

Recommended items made using a familiar, beloved metal - brass.

Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc. It has been used since around 1000 BC, and it was also used to make coins in the Roman Empire. In Japan, it has been utilized since the Nara period and currently is a familiar, beloved metal used to make 5 yen coins, accessories, interior decorations, architectural hardware, Buddhist altar equipment, musical instruments etc.

The champagne coolers and wind chimes of Nousaku are also made of brass. Making use of the casting techniques of Takaoka copperware, each item is individually crafted by the hands of artisans. Enjoy these techniques that Nousaku has inherited along with item tastefulness packed with spirit.

Rediscovering the beauty of brass! Make your dining table gorgeous with this "Champagne Cooler"

JP¥ 25,000

See Item HERE

■Wind chimes with the characteristic deep sound of brass!
People tend to think of wind chimes as a summer item that allow us to enjoy a sense of coolness. However, a feature of the brass wind chimes of Nousaku is that they can be enjoyed as interior decorations any time of year.
In Takaoka many "orin", a Buddhist altar bell, have come to be made. The deep yet light, gentle sound created by Takaoka tradition means they have recently been attracting attention as a soothing item.
Bells made of brass have a clarity and warmth different to those made of glass. As well as an interior decoration, they can also be used as a relaxation item or for a Christmas display! Change where you put it and enjoy using it all year round.

This cute "Bambina Wind Chime" has a paper strip with a girl motif

JP¥ 3,500

See Item HERE

With an eye-catching paper strip! "UFO Wind Chime, Nickel" is in a unique UFO shape

JP¥ 5,000

See Item HERE

"Fukurin Wind Chime, Gold" has the motif of an owl, a symbol of happiness

JP¥ 4,200

See Item HERE

■Regarding item care■
Just like other natural materials such as water and cloth, the color and texture of tin and brass will change with use.
It is fun to enjoy an appearance that can only be created the more an item is used, and it is also fun to frequently care for an item and become lovingly attached to it. Please enjoying having these items by your side for many years to come.
1. How to care for tin
(*Please also check the handling precautions on each item page)
  • ・After use,​ wash with a mild kitchen detergent using a soft sponge.
  • ・When luster becomes dull, polish with baking soda that has been made into a paste.
  • ・As it has a low melting point,​ do not put over an open flame.
  • ・As it is metal,​ it cannot be used in the microwave.
  • ・As it may become hot,​ do not put in a dishwasher or dryer.
  • ・As 100% tin is soft,​ do not rub with a hard scrubbing brush etc. This may damage the surface.
  • ・Tin may deteriorate at low temperature so do not put in the freezer. Also,​ refrain from storing in the refrigerator for a long time.
  • ・Do not leave strongly acidic or darkly colored drinks in it for a long time. This may cause discoloration.
2. How to care for brass
(*Please also check the handling precautions on each item page)
  • ・Wipe with a soft cloth after use.
  • ・Colored Items: Do not use hard scrubbing brushes or metal polishers as they may damage the surface.
  • ・When dirt is conspicuous,​ wipe off with a wet cloth or sponge and kitchen detergent. After,​ wipe again with a dry cloth to remove all detergent.

Images courtesy of Nousaku

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