Koyo Seiga, Roof tiles with black luster

Koyo Seiga,
Roof tiles with black luster

Strong beautiful roof tiles

Toyo Seiga is located in Funatsu, Himeji, where the soil is rich in dissolved clay. Because of this local feature, roof tiles have been produced for many years. Especially after 1800, Kanzaki roof tiles were disseminated all over Japan after Mataemon Kobayashi, the government tile maker of Himeji Domain, opened the workshop in Funatsu Village.

Koyo Seiga still keeps the tradition of tile making. One of the characteristics is ”Ibushikawara” tiles coated with carbon that is made by smoking tiles in the final step of tile firing. The treatment makes roof tiles robust and resistant to rain and snow. The smoking treatment adds beauty and a black luster to the roof tiles, as well as durability.

Onishi who preserves the tradition of ”onigawara”

Are you familiar with a job called ”onishi”? It is the artisan that makes decorative roof tiles for castles, temples and shrines, such as ”onigawara” or a ridge-end tile shaped like an ogre. Kazumi Yokoi is the second-generation ”onishi” who belongs to Koyo Seiga. He is committed to the restoration of numerous cultural properties, using his proficient skills.
The ”shachi-gawara”, the roof tile in the form of a legendary grampus. The two-meter-long ornament was installed at Shiromidai Park to celebrate the registration of Himeji Castle as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a full-scale replica of the ornament placed on the main castle tower. The beauty, full of brilliance is just amazing when seen up close.

The exploration by artisans is endless. They have to create something new according to the changes of time while reproducing something good and old. The workshop produces roof tiles for the modern times, fusing the new and the old.


Koyo Seiga Co., Ltd.
5241-5 Funatsu-cho, Himeji-shi, Hyogo
URL http://www.koyoseiga.co.jp/english/index.html