Seikado was established here in Kyoto in 1838 (Edo Period) as a pewterer and presently, we are the only pewter art craft speciality shop in Japan. Our 7th owner has devoted himself to making pewter arts as well as running exhibitions displaying a wide range of Japanese metal arts. The gallery introduces contemporary craftsmen.( not open on a regular basis. )
Although historically, Kyoto pewter crafts were originally developed and made available to only the upper classes, we have been endeavoring to design something which is equally in keeping with modern times as it is in maintaining respect for our traditional heritage. The next time you pay a visit to Kyoto, be sure to experience and share with us such distinctive Japanese beauty.
‘Teramachi Street’ on which Seikado is located, used to have many religious institutional buildings, such as temples and shrines as you can guess from its name. (“Tera” means temple.) We were making mainly religious artefacts when we first started our business. These Pewter religious artefacts which were made at this workshop are still seen in shrines all over Japan and they are an essential part of Gion Festival. The Imperial Palace is nearby and it is said that its Pewter sake cups were popular among the nobles of the past. Also, there is a tradition related to “tea” in Kyoto. The Pewter tea sets made at our workshop are essential to any good tea ceremony. We make a wide range of products, from those used in daily life to decorative, modern art, using not only pewter, but also silver and copper.
“HEISHI” Sacred Treasure for Gion Festival
“KOGAKI” Tea Caddy,Pewter
Each metal has its own individual qualities and we believe that our job is to make the best use of the materials’ characteristics. We take good care to ensure that we employ the traditional techniques which have been painstakingly developed during Kyoto’s 1200 year long history.
It has been mainly used for kitchen utensils especially sake cups because it does not get corroded easily. We mainly make pitchers and cups for sake. Pewter sake products are essential to those who love sake in Japan.
（About the Materials Used in Pewter Products）
One of the characteristics of silverware in Japan is that it is tarnished. This is the spirit of Wabisabi — the beauty found in things being naturally shifted—. We make kitchen utensils, such as plates and chopsticks, tea ceremony equipment, and accessories, such as netsuke — a form of miniature sculpture which developed in Japan—.
Copper / Brass
They are often used for to make equipment related to fire such as a kettle because they conduct heat quickly. Coloring them with Japanese lacquer is a traditional decorating technique in Kyoto. They are suitable for tea ceremony and will compliment any Japanese style room because the shades and colors are very natural. They are also suitable for casting because the materials are relatively easy to shape.
Although it is not suitable for kitchen utensils because of its sensitivity to humidity, it is often used for casted objects and statues, vases and incense burners, as well as stationary, such as paperweights because it can be shaped precisely and it radiates light of various hues and colours.