Copperware production began in the city of Takaoka in 1611 when, two years after establishing Takaoka Castle, to revitalize the local industry, Maeda Toshinaga Lord of Kaga Domain (covering parts of present-day Ishikawa and Toyama prefectures) encouraged production by inviting seven imono copper-casting artisans to take up residence in the castle town. Initially, pots and kettles and other everyday household and agricultural items were made in the town but, eventually, town artisans did a flourishing trade in Buddhist altar items and, from the latter half of the 19th century, branched out into tea ceremony articles, ornaments and other arts and crafts items. Today Takaoka makes 90% of the production in Japan, from temple bells to bronze statues, of copper alloy vases, tea ceremony items, figures, and other craft goods. Most products are made by casting, that is, pouring molten metal into moulds and, depending on the size and type of object, artisans usually select one of four main casting techniques. In addition, another inherited local skill is engraving, which is used for applying various patterns to surfaces.
Using traditional skills and innovative technology to explore the new potential in casting.
Founded in 1916, Nousaku started out making copper-alloy cast works mainly for Buddhist altars. In the factory, you can still smell the sand of the moulds and feel the heat of molten metal as artisans craft each individual piece using inherited green-sand casting skills.
In recent years, leveraging our long-cultivated technology, working with tin as a raw material, we have also been creating contemporary design products. Among these are new Nousaku signature pieces: mesh-like flats of soft, 100%-pure tin that can be freely formed into shapes.
When our office has relocated to new premises at the end of April 2017, in a studio workshop, you will be able to experience casting for yourself and, in the cafe restaurant, to enjoy dining on meals served on tin tableware.