Metalworking in Tsubame-Sanjo
Tsubame-Sanjo is an area in the northern Japanese prefecture of Niigata, which is known for its numerous small metalworking factories and workshops. They manufacture a huge variety of products thanks to the precision and skills of craftspeople.
Held every year at the beginning of October, the Tsubame-Sanjo Factory Festival (Kouba no Saiten) opens the doors to these factories and workshops to the public. The smell of burning metal, the furnace heat and the rhythms of handwork and machines, are only some of the fascinating aspects of this initiative, which gives everyone the opportunity to both intimately witness the life of others and instil pride in the community.
As part of Japan House London's exhibition BIOLOGY OF METAL: METAL CRAFTSMANSHIP IN TSUBAME-SANJO (6 September – 28 October 2018), we explore how these workshops pay respect to years of tradition while adapting their craft to embrace the future.