Osaka-naniwa tinware Photo:Osaka Prefecture

Osaka-naniwa tinware Osaka naniwa suzuki

Tinware adorning gentle sheen
Warmth of art delivered by artisans


What is Osaka-naniwa tinware ?

Osaka Naniwa Suzuuki (Osaka Naniwa Tinware) is made from a tin alloy and produced in an area centering on Osaka City in Osaka Prefecture. In the past, tin mined in Japan was used, but nowadays tin is imported mainly from Thailand and Indonesia.
The characteristic feature of Osaka Naniwa Tinware is the subtle differences between pieces even made by the same craftsman, because each pieces is completely handmade. Tin is a relatively soft metal and difficult to process by machine; therefore, most of the work is carried out by hand.
The tin is a very stable metal, and its high durability is much appreciated. It is said that tin mellows the taste of sake, resulting in the production of beautiful sake drinking sets.
Rather cleverly artisans discovered that by hand-engraving fine concave-convex patterns inside a beer mug, longer-lasting bubbles are generated, and that a rim of a certain thickness gives a smooth and pleasant feeling when drinking. Flower vases and other tube-shaped articles are turned on a lathe. The highly-accurate turning gives products good airtightness preventing moisture and oxidation; particularly ideal for tea caddies.


History of tinware production harks back to the Asuka Period, and some tin works are stored in Shoso-in Treasure Repository. Tin used to be a material valued like gold and silver, which was only allowed in limited settings such as the Imperial court for dinnerware and Buddhist altar fittings. A literature called Jinrin-kinmouzui states the existence of tinware craftsmen in Kyoto and other areas of the Kansai region in the early Edo Period.
The production of Osaka Naniwa Suzuki began in 1679, it was recorded in Naniwa-suzume that describes tinware production that took root in Kamigata (areas of Osaka) with better distribution functions by the middle of the Edo Period. In 1714, first Suzuya Hanbei that had studied under a tinware artisan in Kyoto established himself in Shinsaibashi, where a number of tinware manufacturers gathered and settled gaining acclaim as a renowned area of tinware production. Upon the start of World War II, many craftsmen were drafted and material procurement became difficult, resulting in a production crisis. As shaping of the postwar tinware industry, Osaka Naniwa Suzuki was recognized by the then Minister of International Trade and Industry Sadanori Nakayama as a traditional craft.

General Production Process

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