About Us

Keep challenging, expand possibility of traditional craft.

In 1916, Nousaku was founded and began manufacturing Buddhist ritual objects, Japanese tea-ceremony utensils and flower vases made of brass and bronze in Takaoka City. The city has flourished since 1609 and built its reputation as the center of the copper industry in Japan over those 400 years.
90% of copperware are casted in this city such as giant temple bells and bronze statues, and the copperware made in this city is called “Takaoka Doki” and it is assigned as a traditional craft in Japan.

Our history as “NOUSAKU” brand started in 2002 with the development of the first branded item, a brass bell which was designed by Katusji Nousaku, 4th generation of Nousaku.
The bell was released at a retailer but hardly sold because Japanese people did not use a bell in their home. One day, Katsuji was recommended by a sales staff to transform the bell into a wind chime, because Japanese people use a wind chime in Summer. After the transformation, the wind chime became a big hit, and this episode makes Katsuji decide to develop products fulfilling customer’s requests.

In 2003, Nousaku developed the world’s first 100% pure tin tableware, focusing on the special property of malleability by making use of cultivated technique and experience. A flexible tin basket “KAGO” is the masterpiece of Nousaku and got popularity both inside and outside Japan.
We now manufacture tableware made of 100% pure tin, interior objects, artwork, and medical instruments. As well as respecting and preserving the traditional technique and history, we seek to create products beyond predefined fields to expand the possibility of castings.

To inherit the traditional technique and culture of “Takaoka Doki”

Our mission is not only to make products but also to convey the background of product and craftmanship.
Our factory built in 2017 is open to public, offering an opportunity to experience craft-based tourism. You can see up close how products are made in “Factory Tour”, experience the traditional tin casting hands-on workshop at “Nousaku Lab”, enjoy special dishes served on Nousaku tin plate at café “Imono Kitchen”, and get our shop-exclusive items at “Factory shop”. In 2019, we started a new business “Tin Wedding Ceremony” which is to celebrate the 10th wedding anniversary.

Factory Tour & Workshop

We believe that those out-of-the-box activities will grow the next generations who inherit the traditional technique and culture. We continue to strive for the realization of a prosperous and happy society through a variety of initiatives.

About Technique

Casting is a manufacturing process in which a molten metal is poured into a mold to form an object of the desired shape. Most of Nousaku products start with the creation of a sand mold, and then undergoes several finishing processes. This is an eco-friendly method as the sand used for casting is reusable and the material is also recyclable which can be molten again.
Furthermore, we developed silicone casting method, using silicone molds instead of sand molds. It enables us to shorten the manufacturing lead time and express more complex and precise details. This is also an eco-friendly method as this silicone mold can be used repeatedly without unnecessary waste.

About Material

SUZU – Tin
Tin, called SUZU in Japanese, is the most expensive metal after gold and silver.
It is soft and malleable. It is normally mixed with other metals in products to increase its hardness, but Nousaku uses 100% tin. It may be a counterintuitive concept, but this idea allows us to accomplish the creation of unique products which can be bent and used.
Though Tin resembles silver in its whiteness, it does not rust nor tarnish easily. Also, pure tin is significantly antibacterial and safe for serving foods, therefore making it a suitable material for tableware or accessories. In Japan, it has been said that tin removes the bitterness from Japanese sake as well as other beverages. Crackling sound will occur when the item is bent. It is unique to tin and called “tin cry”.

Brass, a metallic alloy of copper and zinc, has been used for accessories, interior decorations and architectural hardware since ancient times. Brass makes a clear and beautiful tone and is therefore also used for musical instruments, such as horns and trumpets.
Based on the skilled techniques used to make Buddhist ritual objects and Japanese tea-ceremony utensils, Nousaku creates various interior objects such as bells, candle holders, incense holders and wind chimes. Our brass products are hand-finished by experienced craftsmen, which accentuates their material beauty and fineness.

Bronze is an alloy of copper and tin. For its hardness, it was used for tools, weapons, armor, and building materials in ancient times before discovery of iron.
It also has been widely used for coins, mirrors, statues such as The Great Buddha of Todaiji Temple in Nara and the Peace Statue in Nagasaki for its anti-corrosiveness.
Nousaku employs bronze to produce planters for moss Bonsai, as well as made-to-order construction metal, and art sculptures.

Sand Casting

Place a metal frame on a wooden mold of the intended shape.
Ram sand into the frame.
Remove the wooden mold.
Pour the molten metal into the hollow cavity of the sand mold.
Take out the product from the sand mold after solidified.
Grind the surface by a lathe and then handfinish using bladed tools.
Apply coloring if necessary.