NOUSAKU began manufacturing Buddhist altar fittings in 1916, using casting techniques handed down over 400 years in Takaoka. Founded by Toshinaga Maeda, lord of the Kaga Clan, in Toyama Prefecture in 1609, Takaoka City has built a reputation as a center of industry. Each NOUSAKU product is made using advanced techniques. Employing casting methods and metals (such as tin, brass, bronze, and aluminum) selected to suit the purpose and the product; they create products with a superbly unique texture. In our earliest days, NOUSAKU made Buddhist altar fittings, tea sets, and flower vases, later adding tableware, interior products, and construction metals to its lineup. They continue to preserve the values of Takaoka Copper as traditional craft.
Traditional approaches to creation
NOUSAKU still receives orders for Buddhist altar fittings, tea sets, and flower vases, capitalization on the casting, finishing, and coloring techniques developed over Takaoka's 400-years history. Many of these cast metal products possess a traditional, decorative beauty, which often require extremely refined and precise processing techniques despite their seemingly simple appearance. NOUSAKU respects the wisdom of its ancestors, and preserves traditional methods while seeking to create new tradition.
New approaches to creation
NOUSAKU takes on new creative challenges themed by material, technique, and design. They recently began projects that collaborate actively with designers to produce new products. In terms of technique, their main features include products made from 100% pure tin- renowned for the processing challenges it entails - a hairline finish on brass that requires extremely sophisticated skills, and silicon casting that can create expressive details. NOUSAKU not only maintains and preserves tradition; we constantly pursue innovation.
The most expensive metal after gold and silver, tin does not rust easily, possesses high antibacterial qualities, and is known as a material with low allergic reactivity. It has been believed that water in a tin container does not spoil, and tin removes excessive bitterness from sake and produces a better taste. For these reasons, tin has traditionally been used for sake and tea ware. NOUSAKU uses pure, 100% tin. It is common to add other metallic materials to provide durability and facilitate cutting work, but NOUSAKU uses tin without such additives. Pure 100% tin is soft and can easily be bent by hand, depending on its shape and thickness. People benefit from tin in all sorts of ways as a metal that is friendly on the human skin.
An alloy of copper and zinc, brass has been used from around 1000 B.C. The Roman Empire used brass as coin, while in Japan, brass products that came from China in the Nara Period were stored in the Shoso-in. NOUSAKU craftsmen individually craft brass products. Even though they are all brass, each product looks different from the other, offering the opportunity to enjoy exquisitely unique products that embody the skill and passion of NOUSAKU.