Japanese Iron Man – Tsubame-Sanjo

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I still remembered the first time I invited my friend in the tableware industry to visit Tsubame-Sanjō of Japan. He asked without thinking, “What is that? I have only heard of the three bamboo tile in the mahjong game (Note: In Chinese, the pronunciation of 燕三条 is similar to the three bamboo tile in the mahjong game ).” On hearing this, I got completely speechless, just like a stoneman standing in the center of paddy field, with three ravens flying past my head.

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Yes, no tour group will come here, for it is a small place made up by two towns (Tsubame and Sanjō). As part of Niigate, a land teemed with rice, Tsubame-Sanjō lies among the paddy fields. Particularly, it is also home to the best ironware of Japan.

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Image caption: The hometown of Koshihikari rice.

Where is Tsubame-Sanjō? To search it in the Japanese map, you will find that it is right in the center of Japan. If a foreigner wants to visit Tsubame-Sanjō, he or she needs to start from Narita Airport, and then take the airport rapid transit to the Tokyo Station, and then take the Shinkansen to reach the destination, totally requiring 3.5 hours. And it takes about 4 hours if you drive here on the expressway from Tokyo. Strictly speaking, it is easily accessible from Tokyo, but remains its rural and primitive nature. The Uisuooh Team starts from Taipei in the early morning, and arrives at Tsubame-Sanjō Station at 4 pm or so, with a feeling of 「ALWAYS 三丁目の夕日」.
(Note: the latest news before the publication of this article, the aircraft has been able to direct from Taipei to Tsubame-Sanjō).

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Image caption::ALWAYS 三丁目の夕日 model.

The camping lover will be no stranger to the Snow Peak, a well-known ultrathin casting iron pot brand, which is the flagship industry of Tsubame-Sanjō. Besides the excellent casting technology and the casting iron pot, it also produces amazing iron products. The Uisuooh Team comes from a long way to Japan for the purpose of having the readers get a deep understanding of Japanese craftsmen’s devotion and persistence poured on products. Now the affection and enthusiasm for iron has permeated into every aspect of Tsubame-Sanjō.


Image caption: Snow Peak 和鉄ダッチオーブン

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Image caption: Snow Peak 和鉄ダッチオーブン

Since the first nail was forged in the early Edo period, Tsubame-Sanjō has inherited the mission of casting craftsmen, thus developing itself into an industrial cluster for cutters, farm tools, metal western-style tableware and so on. The Tsubame-Sanjō ironware not only ranks the first in Japan, but also has a great reputation in the global catering industry. In addition, with three rivers flowing through it, Tsubame-Sanjō is abound in natural food materials.

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Image caption: The origin of the Japanese ironworks.

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Except for developing the ironware technology, Tsubame-Sanjō is also devoted to the ecological protection and the cultivation of rice, vegetable and fruit. The forge plant we visit just lies in the center of the paddy fields filled with flowing ears of rice. How rare it is to see the coexistence of industry and agriculture! Have you taken a bath in the hot spring in Japan? If not, you are not a true Japan visitor. Not far from Tsubame-Sanjō, there lies the Yahiko-jinja Hot Spring with transparent and colorless alkaline water which is extremely effective in the treatment of pains. What’s more, Yahikp Village is just the classic scene of the famous film- Initial D. By no means shall you miss it!

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Image caption: やひこじんじゃ Shrine.

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Image caption: The Yahiko hot springs of Tsubame-Sanjo area.

The Japanese government offers much support to the local industrial recovery, which helps to contribute to the business visit of Uisuooh Team. Supported by JETRO (Japan External Trade Organization) and TSUBAMESANJO Regional Industries Promotion Center, we have traced a source of iron tableware (from factory to dining table).

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Image caption: Tsubame-Sanjo exhibition halls.

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Image caption: TSUBAMESANJO Regional Industries Promotion Center hosting the manufacturers exchange party.

In less than a week, we visited 6 tableware plants, two exhibition halls and one iron-forging sightseeing factory. What a tight schedule! In this process, we witnessed the uncompromising nature and the devoted faith of Japanese craftsmen. The whole team was exhausted by the journey, and fell straight asleep after being dined by the Japanese reception group. We got totally free from the worry of insomnia.

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Next, the Uisuooh Team will make serial report on『Japanese Iron man』Tsubame-Sanjō to disclose the exquisite forging workmanship in Japan. From the casting iron pan that amazes the Europe to the Mama pan commonly seen in Japan, from forks for adults to safety bowls and chopsticks specially for children, from the dining tableware for western nobility to the sacrifice tableware used in the Japanese shrine, we will show you how the hard iron is forged into the appetite-luring utensils by the dab hand and unique design of craftsman. Please pay close attention to the report of Uisuooh to see the core spirit of Japanese commodities.

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TSUBAMESANJO Regional Industries Promotion Center official website: http: //www.tsjiba.or.jp

Address: 1-17, Sugoro, Sanjo-city, Niigata, 955-0092, Japan

E-mail: [email protected]

By Peiwen [email protected]

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