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Introducing the Pewtersmiths of Japan

This video, titled "Japan Handicraft Encyclopedia - Suzukou" (ニッポン手仕事図鑑 × 錫光), was uploaded by "Japan Handicraft Encyclopedia" (ニッポン手仕事図鑑).
The art of using tin and lead to produce sake sets, chaki for tea, and various other containers, is a tradition said to have been passed down in Japan for centuries.

This time we'll introduce the pewtersmiths of Suzukou, a long-established pewter shop.
Suzukou is a workshop run by pewtersmiths Keiichi Nakamura and Takayuki Yoyama.
At Suzukou, pewtersmiths manufacture new pewter products while reminiscing over the memory of their ancestors.
Experience the beauty of their traditional craft in the video!

What Exactly is a Pewtersmith?

A pewtersmith is a craftsman who uses tin or lead as a material to make tokkuri (sake bottles), flower pots, tea pots, and more.
The use of tin and lead gives the product a mild flavor and excellent temperature retention properties, both hot and cold.

In addition, tin is resistant to corrosion and does not attract moisture, making it a material that is pleasant to the touch.
The products made by pewtersmiths can be used for many years, and this is a profession that is known to produce products that will last a lifetime.

Suzukou – The Workshop of a Master Pewtersmith

It's believed that pewtersmithing was introduced from China about 1,200 to 1,300 years ago, during the Asuka and Nara periods (~592 to 794 AD).
Established in 1987, the workshop "Suzukou," located in Kawaguchi, Saitama, was granted the honor of producing a water-dropper as a gift to Fumihito, Prince Akishino, and has been manufacturing products while following in the footsteps of its predecessor, Kozan Nakamura, famous as a master craftsman of our time, and collaborating with many craftsmen from different industries.

As a workshop for the next generation, "Suzukou" is a place where tradition is respected and new things are born.
Today, it attracts the attention of many people throughout Japan.

Keiichi Nakamura - A Pewtersmith Who Insists on Working by Hand

Keiichi Nakamura was working as a company employee until he inherited his father's pewtersmithing business, which led him to be the craftsman he is today.
From the interview, you can feel his strong feelings towards his craft with each word he speaks.
He believes that his father's title of "a master craftsman of our time" will serve as a catalyst for the birth of new pewtersmiths in the future and allow them to connect the past and present.

In the video, you can see the beautiful pewter products made by hand by Keiichi Nakamura.
They're truly works of art.

Summary of the Pewtersmiths of Suzukou

This video introduced an interview with the pewtersmiths of Suzukou.
After listening to the interview, we hope you've come to appreciate the beautiful craft and are considering trying it out for yourself!
Or at the very least, have come to appreciate traditional Japanese crafts.

Some of Suzukou’s most popular products, such as the "Tumbler old fashioned 9 oz 'tsuchime'" (ぐい呑み・タンブラーオールド9オンス), can be purchased on their website.
Consider checking out the beautiful traditional crafts made by these master pewtersmiths!

【Official Website】Suzukou|A Pewter Manufacturer and Distributor That Focuses on Handcrafted Products

Written By
Last Updated : May. 24, 2023
岩本 晃弘 (aki)
I'm a writer living in rural Japan who loves travel and food
Pewter - A Craft Produced by Master Artisans That Has Been Passed Down for Generations in Japan. A Close Look at One Pewtersmith Who Respects the Tradition of His Craft and a Look at His Beautiful Works
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