TAKATA Seisakusho (as known as TAKATA Lemnos in Europe)

What is Takata Lemnos?

Takata Seisakusho as known as Takata Lemnos in Europe is one of the most successful metal casting companies in Takaoka, featuring a wide variety of finely-designed products. Although the founder of the company, Takeru Takata, was not a native of Takaoka, his devastating experience from World War II brought him to the city that was renowned for its Buddhist ornaments to dedicate his life in making these ornaments to commemorate the war victims. While Buddhist ornaments remain one of their main products, the founder’s grandson, Koichi Takata, has taken a new direction in response to the decline of the need for religious ornaments. In the mid-2000s, he began designing and producing highly artistic vases for high-end consumers and succeeded in exporting them after exhibiting the vases at the acclaimed Milano Salone. Today, he continues to design popular products, such as tableware made with bendable pure tin introduced in the “Shirokane” series and an aluminum ice cream spoon that can dig into any ice cream however hard it may be. 

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Another notable characteristic of Takata Seisakusho is their passion to revitalize Takaoka city as a whole. They have established long-term collaborative relationships with external designers so that they can “grow” together and keep Takaoka’s creative network connected with them.  In addition, from their wide and close of network inside Takaoka city, some products have materialized through their network and more will come as proof of their love for Takaoka. 

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Takata Lemnos (http://lemnos.jp/)

History of Takaoka metal casting.

Metal casting has long been a treasured skill in Japan, dating back several centuries. As it spells “celebrated” or “long-lived metal” in Chinese characters, skilled craftsmen who can cast anything from agricultural tools to religious ornaments were highly revered by local feudal lords.

 

Takaoka’s history as one of the country’s largest metal casting production centers began in 1611 when the local feudal lord, Toshinaga Maeda, recruited 7 skilled casters and granted them all the necessities – from a plot of land downtown by a stream, casting facilities, to favorable social benefits – in order to strategically turn the rustic agricultural town into a blossoming industrial hub. Located along Toyama Bay that opens to the Sea of Japan in the country’s central region, the town was ideal for transporting both the raw material and finished products from Hokkaido in the north to Kyushu and beyond in the south. Thanks to the generous investment from the Maeda family, Takaoka’s casting industry found success at first from making agricultural tools and pots when the country was still unsettled from the unification in 1603, graduating to more ornamental products like religious ornaments, vases and statues in the early 18th century – a period which coincided with the achievement of nation-wide stability and peace. The fine quality and abundant production of premium copper and brass ornamental casting earned Takaoka’s products fame around the country, and the town boasted the largest number of casters in all of Japan by the 18th century.

 

When Japan opened to the world in 1868 after 260 years of isolation, Takaoka’s casters eagerly crossed the ocean to showcase their wares at grand expositions overseas. Subsequently, the refined quality and flexible adaptation of Western styles awed the world, making cast products highly in-demand for export.

 

Today, while large-scale production has shifted to aluminum, fine metal casting skills are still at work in a few medium-scale companies and many small, family-run studios in Takaoka. Here, new generations of the city’s casters continue to produce exquisite, traditional religious brass ornaments, paying homage to their ancestral craftsmanship, yet still moving with the times through innovative new techniques to meet modern needs and styles. In Takaoka, you can discover the latest additions of the city’s cast products – including tin and aluminium tableware – that are refined with centuries-old skills.

 

Craftsmanship

 

There are loosely two processes involved in metal casting: casting and polishing, and in most middle-scale production companies, craftsmen specialize in one of the two. In Takaoka, the age of these craftsmen range from early 20s to 70s, mostly natives of Takaoka. The great proportion of young workers further cements the tradition of casting industry in the city and highlights the continuous importance of this manufacturing sector.

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Casting

 

Many of Takaoka’s metal casting is done with a traditional method using sand-cast, a technique that has been used for 400 years. The process of casting requires strenuous physical work – casters, mostly men with thick muscles, work tirelessly around the sizzling oven stirring and purifying the boiling material, and then carry around heavy sand-and-metal-filled casts before breaking them apart to take the product out. At the same time, even as they make sand casts repeatedly throughout the day, they are the masters of extremely delicate work; sand needs to be packed tight enough to prevent air bubbles but not too tight to make casts that are only a few millimeters thick.

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At first glance, this traditional method may not seem the most efficient, however, it lets the craftsmen experiment with new ideas as it allows them to make new products in small lots easily. In this way, traditional sand casting pushes innovation forward.

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Polishing

 

The polishing process involves taking off dirt, smoothing the surface and applying a finishing polish. Each process is done by hand using specialized polishing equipment, and requires extensive skills to polish evenly. All the products are quality-checked here as well.

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Takata Lemnos products "SHIROKANE" line
 

Tidbits bowl -Bear

¥JPY3,000
   

Tidbits bowl -Squirrel

¥JPY3,000
   

Tidbits bowl -Leaf

¥JPY3,000
 
 

Icicle Sake Cup 160ml

¥JPY5,500
   

Icicle Sake Cup 160ml Pair

¥JPY10,000
   

Beer Tumbler Fuuga/Elegance 420ml

¥JPY8,000
 
 

Beer Tumbler Fuuga/Elegance 420ml Pair

¥JPY15,000
   

Tin Beer Cup -King- 380ml

¥JPY7,500
   

Tin Beer Cup -Queen- 380ml

¥JPY7,500
 
 

Tin Beer Cup -King & Queen Set- 380ml each

¥JPY15,000
   

Tin Tumbler – Lady Ale- 220ml

¥JPY5,500
   

Tin Tumbler – Lady Ale Set- 220ml each

¥JPY10,000
 
 

Chopstick Rest -Sakura Spring

¥JPY2,000
   

Chopstick Rest -Magnolia Spring

¥JPY2,000
   

Chopstick Rest -Ume Spring

¥JPY2,000
 
 

Chopstick Rest -Iris Summer

¥JPY2,000
   

Chopstick Rest -Lily Summer

¥JPY2,000
   

Chopstick Rest -Loquat Summer

¥JPY2,000
 
 

Chopstick Rest -Sunflower Summer

¥JPY2,000
   

Chopstick Rest -Hydrangea Summer

¥JPY2,000
   

Chopstick Rest -Chinese bellflower Autumn

¥JPY2,000
 
 

Chopstick Rest -Harvest Autumn

¥JPY2,000
   

Chopstick Rest -Autumn leaves Autumn

¥JPY2,000
   

Chopstick Rest -Winter camellia Winter

¥JPY2,000
 
 

Chopstick Rest -Narcissus Winter

¥JPY2,000
   

Chopstick Rest -Sunny snow Winter

¥JPY2,000
   

15.0% Ice cream spoon -No.1 vanilla-(round tip)

¥JPY3,000
 
 

15.0% Ice cream spoon -No.2 Chocolate-(square tip)

¥JPY3,000
   

15.0% Ice cream spoon -No.3 Strawberry-(forked tip)

¥JPY3,000
   

15.0% Ice cream Cup -No.4 caramel

¥JPY3,000
 
 
Jewelry Stand Tree and Birds plain

Jewelry Stand -Tree & Birds

¥JPY5,000
   

Jewelry Stand Rabbit

¥JPY3,800
   
Jewelry Stand Squirrel

Jewelry Stand Squirrel

¥JPY4,200
 
 
Jewelry Stand street lamp with cat -plain

Jewelry Stand -Street lamp with cat

¥JPY4,200
   
Jewelry Stand Candle lamp plain

Jewelry Stand Candle Lamp

¥JPY4,200
   
Jewelry Stand Grove plain

Jewelry Stand Grove

¥JPY4,200
 
 
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