Iron kettle from Yamagata
Yamagata Iron Kettle
The origins of Yamagata Imono are thought to date back to the late Heian period
about 900 years ago, when the warlord Minamoto no Yoriyoshi was engaged in a
military campaign to suppress uprisings in the Yamagata region.
In his army retinue were metal casters who found that the sand in the Mamigasaki
River flowing through today’s Yamagata city and the soil quality of the surrounding
area were ideal for making casting molds. It is known some of these men stayed in
the area, and some 180 years or so later historical records state that in the period
of the Dynasties (1336-1392), imono artisans made metal fittings.
It was after entering the Edo period that the industry developed on a full scale.
Shiba Kaneyori and Mogami Yoshiaki, the lords of Yamagata Castle, reorganized the
castle town, established two manufacturing towns, Kaji (forging) machi and Do (copper)
machi on the north of the Mamigasaki River, thus laying the foundations for generations
of metal casters.
There still exist cast iron crafthouses around town that succeeds traditional skills.
This regional technique which is called " Dry Mold Method" make it possible to produce
the items of stable quality and many kind of iron kettle.
The craftshouse of kettle master KIKUCHI MASAMITSU is located to this area.