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Takaoka Copper Crafts

 It is considered to be the root of Takaoka Douki (高岡銅器, Takaoka Copper Crafts) that the Kaga Maeda (加賀前田) family invited seven foundries to Takaoka (高岡) area in the early Edo period. At first, iron castings for agricultural machinery and other products were the mainstay, which grew to become Takaoka town’s primary industry. It started as hardware for daily necessities, but copper castings eventually began to be produced.

 Copper casting is a material that could be used to create complex and delicate shapes compared to iron and other materials and has the advantage of being highly workable. In the late Edo period, works of art and Buddhist utensils began to be made that took advantage of the characteristics of copper. As the number of varieties increased, decorative techniques such as coloring, inlay, and metal engraving also developed, and the products were exhibited at the 1867 Paris Universal Exposition and received very high praise. After that, from the Meiji period to the Taisho period, innovations in manufacturing techniques occurred, and production increased dramatically, leading to the area being recognized as a significant producer of copperware. Copper also has excellent corrosion resistance and does not rot like iron even when exposed to wind and rain, so many bronze bells and swords excavated from ancient ruins have retained their original form and are more than 1,000 years old. Many of the pagoda-top metal objects and utensils of the temples that were preserved retain their beauty even today.

Updated: 22 May 2024

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