Traditional Crafts of Tokyo 東京の伝統工芸品Traditional Crafts of Tokyo 東京の伝統工芸品

Tokyo Ginki

Tokyo Ginki Photo

Profound brilliance of silverware from Japan, admired by the world at the Paris Expo.
In its prime, the Iwami Silver Mine was one of the two largest silver mines in the world, the other being the Cerro Rico silver mine located in Potosí, Bolivia, and Japan was then one of the world’s major silver-producing countries. Silver Silver products were already made in 916 and silver craftsmen called Shiroganeshi (silver masters) were given important posts by the Daimyo (feudal lord) families in the 17th century. The common folk also adored silverware. Japanese silverware items exhibited at the Paris Expo in 1867 won great admiration, even from Europeans, who were very knowledgeable about silver products. Of course, Japanese silverware craftsmanship has been greatly influenced by Europe and incorporates a number of world-class skills, including hammering and inlaying. Hammering is the process of hammering the ground metal into a thin sheet of about 1 mm thickness, using a metal or wooden hammer for forming, while Kashoku (decoration) is a surfacing process involving marking the patterns with a metal hammer. These highly elaborate skills are never practiced in other countries. The patterns created with metal hammers, including Tsuchime (hammered mark), Ishime (rock pattern), and Gozame (matting pattern), impart special textures and their uneven surfaces fit comfortably into users’ hands. Many will be drawn to this silverware, which includes silver goblets for use in celebrations to commemorate long life, silver teapots and silver kettles – very popular in Asian countries – all with a deep luster that does not fade, even after 100 years.
Tokyo, Gold And Silver Ware Manufacturing Association
Address: 24-4, Higashiueno 2-chome, Taito-ku, Tokyo