【About Japan’s Traditional crafts】~Satsuma tinware~

【About Japan’s Traditional crafts】~Satsuma tinware~

【About Japan’s Traditional crafts】~Satsuma tinware~


300 years have passed since 1656 when the Satsuma Domain’s tin mine was excavated at the order of Lord Shimazu.
At the time, tin was considered as valuable as gold and silver, which made it a huge natural resource for Satsuma Domain, and items made from tin were treated as precious commodities.
However, mass production gradually made tinware into household objects.
Tin is no longer produced in modern-day Kagoshima, but the skills related to it have been passed down as part of the region’s traditional craftworking.


Characteristics of “Satsuma suzuki”

Satsuma tinware has a color tone with a profound feeling, remarkable deepness and a comfortable touch.
Tinware visually appears just as beautiful as silverware, but it is much easier to take care of than silverware because its color doesn’t change like silverware and is also superior in its ability to adjust its heat or coldness, meaning that can keep the warmth or coldness of drinks for a while.
One of its characteristics is that purifies water, so water becomes mellowly delicious!
※A product which is made from pewter is composed primarily of 91% – 93% tin, while the rest is made up of antimony and copper.


Manufacturing Method

1. Making a basic form by pouring molten material ( tin ) into a mould

2. Shape the surface with a plane

3. Polishing up the surface, it becomes like a mirror

※On the other hand, if it’s dipped in the oxidation liquid to make the surface corrode away, then it feels rough to the touch.

This is the basic outline of the manufacturing method, but it is not easy to make one article.
Why the 100-year-old green tea was amazingly fragrant is because of the ancient skills that made it highly sealabl.

Working view


Air Tight Sealing

The Chatsubo (tea-leaf container) that Toshimichi Okubo, a devoted feudal retainer of Satsuma Domain and one of the most famous politicians in the

history of Japan, habitually used was discovered. The green tea-leaf remained in the Chatsubo for a 100-years and yet, still was fragrant in both smell and taste, and not in the least bit spoiled.

Tight sealing cap


About Iwakiri Bikoudo

Iwakiri Bikoudo has been running their business almost 100 years and is one of the best tinware makers in Kagoshima, Japan.
Satsuma suzuki (tinware) takes its origin from Kagoshima where it was called Satsuma a long time ago and is a Japanese traditional craft.
Satsuma suzuki is designated to a Japanese traditional craft by the governor of Kagoshima.
A variety of the artifacts are displayed and sold in the showroom.
People from Japan as well as from other countries come to the showroom and enjoy Iwakiri Bikoudo’s work.


Lexus and Iwakiri Bikoudo

Lexus is one of the best luxury car brands that we are very proud of.
What many people may not know is that Iwakiri Bikoudo was approached by Lexus many times before finally agreeing to create the famous emblem for the one of a kind car model. After fiddling with the design for several months, he eventually came up with the final design.
Hopefully, opportunities like this and successful ventures come again in the future.

LEXUS emblem


The great works to the Imperial Family

  • 935 Presented to His Imperial Highness Prince Nashimoto.
  • 1962 Presented to both His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince and the Princess.
  • 1973 Presented to Mikasanomiya, His Imperial Highness the Prince Tomohito.
  • 1984 Chatsubo was presented to His Majesty the Emperor.
  • Presented





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