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Tsuiki Copperware

HOME > Japan’s Local Treasures > Tsuiki Copperware


Tsubame City, at the epicenter of hand-hammered copperware craft for centuries

Tsubame city



For hundreds of years, craft has been the lifeblood of Tsubame City. Here, the cling clang of hammering metals is as ubiquitous as cicadas in summer.


During the last 200 years, artisans in Tsubame have devoted themselves to Tsuiki Copperware, the manipulation of copper by hand and hammer. At the beginning, it was simply a way to create vessels for everyday use, but over time as peoples’ lifestyles changed, so too did the artistic products being created. As trade and partnership with other parts of the world increased at the turn of the 20th century, so did the opportunity for new influences and inspiration.


Today, Tsuiki Copperware are still very much items meant to be used. Like a good leather wallet or lacquered bowl, the colors and textures grow and change as you use it, blurring the line between ordinary products and works of art.


At the Tsubame Industrial Materials Museum, the most highly appraised Tsuiki Copperware are on display. Come visit one of the only areas producing Tsuiki Copperware, Tsubame City, in Niigata Prefecture, central Japan.


How to get there


7 minutes drive from Tsubamesanjo Station on the JR Joetsu Shinkansen Line. Alternatively, 5 minutes drive from Sanjo Tsubame Interchange off the Hokuriku Expressway Outbound Route.



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