Tokyo Silversmithery

About Tokyo Silversmithery

Tokyo Silversmithery is a metal craft made mainly in Tokyo, and was designated as a national traditional craft in 1979. Traditionally, the raw material used is silver, and the silver in the bullion has a purity of 92.5% or more.

Taking a closer look at the history of Tokyo Silversmithery, its beginnings can be seen in the mid-Edo period. Silverware craftsmen called silver masters (shirogane-shi) and decorative craftsmen called metalworkers(Kinko-shi) who make combs, hairpins(kanzashi), and shrine metal fittings have appeared, and silverware are widely popular among townspeople. The techniques of Tokyo Silversmithery are handed down by craftsmen called blacksmiths(Tankin-shi), goldsmiths(Chokin-shi) and finishers(Shiage-shi). Most of the manufacturing process is performed manually by craftsmen, and various products are manufactured using the techniques of “forging”(tan-kin), “engraving(cho-kin)”, “fitting”(kiribame), and “brazing(ro-zuke)” manufacturing.

Silverware manufacturing process

Melt rolling of material

Blowing (Fu-ki)

Melting the ingot in a furnace to make a large plate.

Roll (No-be)

Roll the rolled metal plate thinly.The thickness can be adjusted in 1/100 ㎜ increments.

Ex: Silver plate for photo stand → 0.5㎜ thick
Silver plate for Orin ( buddhist bell ) → 3㎜ thick
Silver plate for guinomi ( sake cup ) → 1㎜ thick

Cutting (Jigane-dori)

Cut the board with slicing scissors according to the size of the product to be created.

Manufacture of goods

Forging (tan-kin)

This is a technique to shape from one piece of metal plate using a metal pad and a hammer. With this technique, we can make a variety of 3-dimensional objects by shaping a single metal plate.

Aperture (shibori)

This is a technique in which one metal plate is hit with a mallet to bend into a dish shape, and then hit with a hammer to form a 3-dimensional shape. By utilizing the extensibility of metal, it has become possible to turn a 2-dimensional plate into a 3-dimensional material.

Engraving (cho-kin)

A decoration technique in which a chisel is used to decorate the surface of a vessel made of cast or forged metal. Depending on the shape of the chisel and the method of carving, there are carving, stamping and inlaying.

Casting metal (chu-kin)

Casting is a technique that creates a “mold” from gypsum, clay, and wood prototypes, pours molten metal into it, and shapes it.


Polish finishing (migaki)

A finishing method that gives gloss by polishing.

Antique finishing (furu-bi)

A method of finishing the surface of brand-new silverware to prevent it from discoloring.

Coloring (Sai-kin)

A finishing method that uses an alloy such as gold, silver, copper, or black nickel to add color.


Hitting with a hammer for patterning and driving the pattern on the surface of silverware.There are three typical patterns below.

Tatami mat pattern (Goza-me)

Pattern imitating tatami mat pattern

Hammered pattern (Tuchi-me)

Pattern that leaves a trace of hit with a hammer

Rock pattern (Ganseki)

Pattern imitating the rough surface of the rock

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