The manufacture of tin ware in Japan dates back to over 1,300 years. Tin wares from Nara era are kept in Shôsô.in (Todaiji) of Nara. It was, along with gold and silver a popular precious metal for the noble families and prestigious shrines.
Frequently saucers and tin jars are used for the sencha-do (sencha ceremony), a practice which crystallizes in the 19th under the influence of the practice of tea scholars of the 17th and 18th centuries (themselves influenced by Qing China, to ensure about this post in French Stéphane from Tea Masters). Today they are often replaced with stainless steel objects because of the high price of tin.
Here are on Thés du Japon some of these precious Japanese tin objects.
It is Osaka Naniwa-suzu 大阪浪華錫 tin ware, an artisan work of Osaka city which dates back to the late 17th century.
For the manufacture of tin ware, first of all, the general shape is obtained using a mold. Then, using a variety of cutters or knives artisan will carve the different tin ware parts to get their final shape with very high precision. In the case of cylindrical articles, a wheel is used (as for the shaping of the core wooden piece of lacquer ware for example). Then, the individual parts are assembled.
Then, if any, the tin ware is painted with a brush (with black lacquer?). These are the parts that remain bright after soaking in an acid solution that will attack tin, roughening the unpainted parts. This process is called ‘Ibushi’. Finally, tin is coated with black or red lacquer. (of course, these phases do not apply to ‘migaki’ tin which is left totally brilliant).
These Japanese artisan works are beautiful; the accuracy of the lids, the thoroughness of cuts is downright impressive.
Japanese tin tea caddies and jar
Categories: Tea ware and works by artisans