Tsubame-Sanjo, is a city located in the centre of Niigata prefecture (North-West). It is famous for the production of cutlery, metalware, and European-style tableware.
The city has long flourished as an essential production hub for the North-West region of Japan.
Those tableware produced by advanced metal processing technology have expanded the sales channels by the hands of local merchants, and Tsubame-Sanjo Monozukuri has blended into the lives of many people.
The craftsmanship inherited by successive craftsmen has continued to evolve with tradition, and has made leaps and bounds to gain a high market share in the world.
Tsubame-Sanjo is also famous for its local ramen, known as Tsubame-Sanjo ramen. It was uniquely developed for those craftsmen working in factories.
Tsubame-Sanjo’s techniques, which has opened up new possibilities throughout global events, is still evolving today.
The origin of its production began in the early 17th century when local administrators encouraged territories to manufacture metal nails in order to save flood-affected rural areas. Thus, the blacksmith industry rapidly expanded as a side job in those areas.
Since Japanese houses were made of timber, fires frequently caused serious damage in town. In those times, the metal nails from Tsubame-Sanjo played a significant role in recovery.
As the demand expanded, the Blacksmithing has become a primary local industry and its techniques have improved significantly. Gradually, artistic crafts also came to be made.
However, when metal nails were introduced from Europe in the Meiji era (1868-1912), the demand for those made in Tssubame-Sanjo dropped sharply.
The Tsubame-Sanjo blacksmith industry faced great difficulties, especially with the price of copper, a main raw material for nails, soared during the First World War.
At the same time, due to the influx of Western culture, the demand for the metal and European-style tableware have expanded. The production of stainless steel, which appeared as a substitute for copper began in earnest, and the blacksmith industry regained its vitality.
Today, those locally grown techniques have become one of the most advanced in the world. Brands such as Snow Peak, an outdoor brand and MGNET, an metal mould company which provides parts for Apple products are widely known.
Products from Tsubame-Sanjo that are available at Simply Native
Simply Native original cutlery set with cutlery specialist, Nagao from Tsubame-sanjo, Japan.
4 vintage finishing cutlery and a sharp steak knife.
Not only keeping tea fresh and full of aroma, the texture of metal tea caddy will age with you.
The main body is made of hygienic stainless steel which has excellent heat retention.
The spout employs an ultra-fine 7mm diameter spout that allows you to pour hot water thinly and quietly. The inside of the spout tip is specially polished, so the hot water runs out well, and you can pour as you can imagine.
Sturdy and designed for practical work, IROHA cooking tong brings an elegant connection to home cooking, and they are attractive enough to be used as a serving utensil at the table or BBQ.
Made by a renowned metal cookware manufacturer, Tanabe with a unique essence of Japanese traditional colours and gold-leaf.
Handcrafted from enamelled stainless steel, this mug cup from Tsubame is light, sturdy and easy to clean. You can safely brandish it over an open fire. Perfect for travel and sturdy enough for outdoors.