Handling 1500℃ Iron
We visited Iwachu Co., Ltd in Morioka city, Iwate to see the process of Nambu Ironware. Iwachu Co., Ltd was founded in 1902. It was one of the largest factories in Japan and produced iron kettles and ironware that were suited for daily use, but also produced handmade Nambu Iron kettles with the tradition that was passed on from about 400 years ago. We visited the workshop which also served as a tourist facility, ”Iwachu Tekkikan”, and watched the handiwork of the artisans.
Nambu Tetsu Ironware contains many ”kogei” skills
”The way we make Nambu Tetsu Ironware can be simply called as ”casting”. However, we need the knowledge of other traditional ”kogei” such as ceramics to make the cast from sand and clay, gold carving for the process of modifying the iron base, and lacquer to process the surface. Since it includes techniques from various traditional ”kogei”, it takes time to master it. And the more you know about it, the more you will be surprised how practical people were in the past.” commented Akira Yaegashi.
Currently, the production of iron is limited in Japan, so the raw material of crude iron is imported from overseas and refined to its optimum component at their own factory before use. The crude iron contains a lot of carbon and silicon, and the merit is that it can be made into ironware that is strong and hard to break.
Enjoy the ”change” as you use the items
”Iron kettles are not particularly difficult to handle. The more you use it the better it gets. It changes as you use it, and it reflects the lifestyle of the person using it. That is the charm.”
- Iwachu Co., Ltd, Iwachu Tekkikan
- 2-23-9 Minami Senkita, Morioka, Iwate Prefecture
- URL http://www.iwachu.co.jp/