Tokyo silverware

Tokyo silverware Tokyo ginki

Chic Edo-style appearance with highly composed and elegant radiance
Strength that prevents patterns from being damaged

Description

What is Tokyo silverware ?

Tokyo Silverware is a form of metal handicraft produced mainly in Tokyo wards such as Taito-ku, Arakawa-ku and Bunkyo-ku. It is a traditional craft that has been passed down from the Edo Period, and even today there are artisans known as tankinshi, choukanshi and shiageshi that continue with the same techniques. Silver is used as the main raw material, and there is a wide range of products including containers, ornaments, ear-cleaning picks and personal accessories. Silver is also used for the production of many types of cutlery, such as baby spoons and pastry knives, as it is harmless and long-lasting.
The characteristics of Tokyo Silverware are its elegant radiance peculiar to silver and its chic Edo-style appearance. Most of the processes involved in its production require diligent work, and artisans make use of various techniques to produce unique articles. Also, silver reacts with sulfide gas in the air to produce a sulfurization phenomenon where it gradually loses its luster. The various textures that can be enjoyed with the finishing method known as furubi, which produces an antique-style atmosphere using this phenomenon, are another of the silverware’s charms.
Tokyo Silverware boasts consistent popularity thanks to the refined style of the artisans’ techniques, and is used for an array of gifts and souvenirs in addition to items for daily use.

History

Silverware in Japan has a long history, and the names of silver tableware and drinking vessels can be seen in the Engi-Shiki governmental regulations. Silver is said to have been a precious material in Japan even before the appearance of its many silver mines, such as the Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine. Going into the Edo Period, silverware artisans known as shiroganeshi appeared, as did producers of metallic ornaments known as kinkoshi, who produced a wide range of articles. Silverware and silver tools are said to have been popular among merchants even in those days.
People from around the world were fascinated with Japan’s silver products exhibited at the International Exposition in Paris in 1867, and the excellent techniques and unique ideas behind Japanese silverware became highly topical. Thereafter, as European techniques were introduced, silver products with an even more diverse range of appearances started to be produced. With the increased travel of foreigners to and from Tokyo after WWII, demand increased among Americans for silver products as souvenirs. New products were made later on, and even today people are fascinated by the charms of Tokyo Silverware.

General Production Process

Where to Buy & More Information

Katsushika Dento Sangyokan

See other Metal works

See items made in Tokyo