A traditional family business continued for 15 generations
There is a studio with about 400 years of history that has been supporting Nambu Ironware since the days of Nambu clan. That is Morihisa Suzuki Studio in Morioka city. It was founded in 1625 and continues to create Nambu ironware with traditional skills that have been passed on through generations. The Suzuki family served the Nambu clan, making cast ironware for generations. Currently it is the 15th generation.
Products with a feminine touch
The traditional iron kettle called ”hinomaru gata” is a design from the Meiji period. Compared to the current ones, it is more sturdy and thick. But the pieces made by Shiiko Kumagaya has a touch of feminine originality in the same round ”hinomaru gata”. The design with rare vertical stripes and Temari （traditional handball) pattern is surprisingly light.
Next we were guided to the studio adjacent to the gallery. The ”Machiya style” building remains as it was built in 1885. Going through the dark pathway, we arrived at the workshop. Currently at Morihisa Suzuki Studio, Shiiko-san and her son Nariaki-san who will inherit the 16th generation and other young apprentices work together.
Starting from overall form rather than from the patterns
At the studio, Nakata got to experience a process called ”pattern pressing” where you put the pattern on the mold. Using various size ”arare” sticks you make patterns by pressing with the stick. We could hear a big sigh from Nakata. He was disappointed that he could not make the pattern evenly. However Shiiko-san told him ”Actually, that makes it more interesting.”
- Suzuki Morihisa Studio Ltd.
- 1-6-7 Minami Odori, Morioka, Iwate Prefecture
- URL http://www.suzukimorihisa.com/english/