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Yamagata cast iron
About Yamagata cast iron

The origins of Yamagata cast iron go back to the Heian period (794-1185), when a warlord came to the Yamagata region in a military campaign, and metal casters in his army found that the sand in the Mamigasaki River as well as the soil quality of the surrounding area was ideal for making casting molds. Some of the men settled in the region and became the founders of Yamagata cast iron.

In the late Edo period (1603-1868), the cast iron industry in the area developed greatly when the town was reorganized and a new adjacent town called Do-machi was established as a home for casting artisans. At the time, artisans mainly produced everyday items and Buddhist statues, but many pilgrims visiting Dewa Sanzan (the Three Sacred Mountains of Dewa) bought the items as souvenirs, which led to Yamagata cast iron becoming known all over Japan.

Going into the modern period, large items such as garden lanterns, craft works such as iron kettles, and even machinery components came to be produced, establishing the area as a major center for metal casting. Yamagata cast iron is known for having precise form, a delicate surface, and elegant designs.

Designated as a Traditional Craft of Japan in 1975
Creators of Yamagata cast iron
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