Nanbu tekki Ver.2  History

Winter in Kyoto is so cold.
Now, we are in the severe winter season, but daffodils came into bloom at the small corner of our property.

Daffodis is also known as Narcissus which is the origin of word " narcissist".

We might have to be "Narcissist" like narcissus, esepcially in this severe winter season.

It is probably important to improve our self-esteem and be confident about ourselves.

In Japan, the word "narcissism" is often taken negatively, because "narcissism" has opposite meaning of modesty.
However, I think our daffodils are growing naturally in our property so humbly with "Japanese style".

Today, continuation from last blog, we will talk about "Nanbu tekki" which is one of the "modest" and beautiful ironware from Iwate Prefecture.

The best condition to develop the technique of cast metal in Iwate Prefecture!
Iwate prefecture is located in north west of Japanese main island which has abundant resource to manufacture the ironware;

a lot of iron sand, iron ore, and large river "Kitakami gawa".
The existence of river is indispensable when we talk about the industrial and cultural development.

People carried a lot of iron materials using their boat.
The Kitakami gawa is so important and useful for the development Nanbu tekki.

Two kinds of Nanbu tekki in Iwate prefecture!
There are two representative areas where Nanbu tekki has been manufactured since long time ago.
One is Morioka city , another one is Mizusawa city. Each of them is called as Morioka cast and Mizusawa cast.


-What is Morioka iron cast?
In 18th century, Nanbu Shigenobu, Third feudal lord invited a master of ironware and a lot of artisans from Kyoto to spread the culture of tea ceremony.
This is the begining of the development of the Nambu Ironware.
These artisants, especially the historically well-known artisan Koizumi Nizaemon mainly contributed to manufacturer utensils for the tea ceremony, and for the gifts, then its sophistication increased the value as highly artistic crafts.
This is the origin of authentic Nanbu tekki.

-What is Mizusawa iron cast?
Mizusawa city is located 65km south of Morioka city.

It is well known as the place where Oshu Fujiwara clan who owned Chusonji gold temple (actual world heritage) governed.
The Mizusawa iron cast has longer history than Morioka.
It was about 12th century. Oshu Fujiwara clan invited some excellent artisans to develop the technique to manufacturer the high quality ironware.

Mizusawa iron cast was developed as the daily commodities among the peoples, as not so sophisticated utensils.
On the other hand, artisans sometimes manufactured several glorious parts of the decoration of temples and shrines.
The development of Mizusawa iron cast contributed to abundant this place.

However, these excellent artisans ware dispersed after the downfall of Oshu Fujiwara clan.
They had difficulty to maintain their life only by their works of iron casting, so they started to farm at the same time.

What do we need for the life as a farmer?

Farmer need a hoe for weeding, a plow for preparing seedbed, sickle for cutting the grass etc...

These agricultural utensils are "iron ware".

Former excellent artisans inherited their technique through manufacturing a lot of agricultural utensiles.

After the World war Ⅱ, artisans who succeeded the excellent technique established their own association and cooperated with
Morioka iron casting association.
At that time, the Morioka iron casting and Mizusawa iron casting ware conbined and produced new name of their iron casting as "Nanbu tekki"

The name pf Nanbu tekki has two meaning.
One is from the name of Morioka feudal lord " Nanbu clan ", another meaning is from the location of Mizusawa area which is located in "Nanbu " of Morioka area. Nanbu means "southern area" in Japanese.

The series of Nanbu tekki we deal in this online store is the ironware from Mizusawa area.


The Nanbu tekki from Mizusawa has been alive since long time by suiting the life of people.
So, we are sure that it would be practical even for our modern life style.

These solid and strong Nanbu tekki has survived ups and downs history might stay gently and considerate of your life eternally.



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