Brass is a material often seen in general merchandise and interior goods. Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc, and the familiar Japanese 5-yen coin is also made of brass.

Brass is mainly defined as having a zinc content of 20% or more. The balance of the copper/zinc ratio varies from object to object, with a high zinc content resulting in a golden color and hardness, and a low zinc content resulting in a reddish color and softness. Brass has a long history dating back to around 1,000 B.C., and because of its resistance to corrosion and ease of processing, it has been widely used in arts and crafts, architectural hardware, and as a material for Buddhist ritual utensils and musical instruments due to its clear tone. Instruments such as trumpets used in brass bands are also made of brass. Nousaku, which we carry in our store, also has several products made of brass.

Founded in 1916, Nouaku began by manufacturing Buddhist altarware, tea ceremony utensils, and flower vases, and now produces traditional yet innovative metal products, mainly tin, but also copper and brass. It was the "wind bell made of brass" that made Nousaku famous throughout Japan. Its lean and sophisticated form is characterized by the clear and extended tone that only brass can produce. The base is made using casting manufacturing techniques in Takaoka City, Toyama Prefecture, and craftsmen finish it with a potter's wheel. We recently had a customer from the Netherlands who came to our Sanjo Showroom to see this product (it is not currently on display). There is also a unique product called "Kinton," which allows you to store 5-yen coins in a design sundry in the shape of a pig made of the same brass as the 5-yen coin, which is cute and makes a great gift.

Brass is an unexpectedly familiar material, but I have recently been reminded that the combination of this material, traditional Japanese casting techniques, and beautiful designs born from a uniquely Japanese sensibility may be the reason why so many products attract people not only from Japan but from overseas as well. One of the most attractive features of brass is that the more you use it, the more its surface oxidizes and develops a unique antique-like flavor, allowing you to enjoy its transformation over time. It is wonderful to be able to enjoy and nurture the changes in brass over a long period of time as you change. Please pay attention to the material of brass and enjoy your shopping.

Nousaku's Wind Bell
Nousaku's Kinton
Takaoka Copperware
Sanjo Showroom