Wazuqu teaware is an incredible example of traditional Japanese handcrafted cast-iron manufacturing technique made by the Kikuchi Hojudo foundry in Yamagata. The foundry is over 400 years old and now in the hands of 15th generation family-member and President, Mr Noriyasu Kikuchi, who strives to bring innovation and tradition together, honouring the skills honed in the Yamagata region for centuries. His vision is to pass on these ancient skills to a new generation to protect them. Younger workers at the Hojudo foundry are taught the art of casting iron by senior workers in an apprenticeship scheme that takes up to ten years.
Wazuqu teaware is made using steel forging techniques honed over hundreds of years, through a highly complex process involving seventy six separate steps. The raw materials used are the same that Japanese swords are crafted from and each pot is almost its own piece of art, hence the price of each item. The iron-casting at Wazuqu is more refined than other cast-iron ware, with a smoother finer texture that sets these teapots apart and have made them a coveted item across the globe. Whilst the Kikuchi Hojudo foundry began it’s life specialising mostly in ironware for shrines and candle-holders, the manufacture evolved to develop items for every day use, such a teapots and sake containers.
At Pekoe Tea we sell Wazuqu “Tetsubin” - a style of tea pot with a pouring spout, lid and handle that arches over the top (in contrast to the Yokode Kyusu pot that has a handle jutting out from the side). The subtlety and beauty in the design of the Wazuqu Testubin ensures a perfect pour. This is reflected in the shape of the spout which doesn’t drip, the handle that reflects the shape of a katana, or Samurai sword.
The tea kettles are made from the cast metal, with the interior finished with enamel and the exterior baked with melamine to create different coloured effects. We offer three sizes: a larger 550 ml, 375 ml and a tall shaped 350 ml.