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Tokyo Ginki

 5 Tokyo Ginki (Silverware)
Main Areas of Manufacture
Taito Ward, Arakawa Ward, Bunkyo Ward
Designation/Certification Dates
January 12th, 1979 (National Certification)
December 24th, 1982 (Tokyo Certification)
Traditional Technologies and Techniques
  1. Tokyo Ginki (silverware) is shaped using the following techniques:
    ① Hammers and tools are used to shape ingot silver by hand.
    ② Metal turning processes are also employed. Ingots are set to wooden molds equipped with tailstocks. This allows hand rotation to be used when shaping and raising silver.
  2. Joint-formation involves the application of silver solder, as well as the employment of caulking and riveting techniques.
  3. Decoration may take the following forms:
    ① Hammers and chisels are used to engrave designs.
    ② Jig saws and chisels are used when mosaic patterns are cut, and when shape-raising is done by hand.
  4. Burnishing is done using antiquing or veneering fluids.
  5. Products shaped by metal turning are decorated.
Traditionally Used Raw Materials
Sterling silver with a purity of 92.5% or greater
History and Characteristics

It is said fully-fledged manufacture of silverware commenced during the Muromachi Period (1336-1573) when silver mines began operation throughout the nation. Furthermore, new refining processes were acquired from European visitors to Japan.

Metal may be shaped into a myriad of forms by techniques such as hammering, heating and smelting. Such allow for the creation of thin metal plate and the softening of metal materials. Since ancient times people have fashioned weapons, utensils, religious objects and fashion accessories, etc., by leveraging the unique properties of materials such as gold, silver, bronze, tin and iron.

In ancient Egypt and China, it is said the limited quantity of silver made it more valuable than gold. At around the 5th Century in Rome, silver production expanded and silverware products became much prized possessions. In particular, silver tableware became a mainstay of the banquets held by the upper classes.

In that silverware has found great favor in Europe and North America, the wealthy feel great pride in owning magnificent table settings. There is a saying in the United Kingdom, "to be born with a silver spoon in one's mouth." This describes people fortunate enough to be born into wealthy families.

The quality of Japanese silverware first came to world attention at the Paris Exhibition held in the 3rd Year of the Keio Era (1867). With the coming of the Meiji Restoration, numerous thick-plate floral vases were manufactured in Tokyo and subsequently exported from Yokohama. The designs of such products overflowed with Japanese expressionism. After the Second World War as more foreign nationals came to Japan, demand for silverware products such as cutlery and fashion items increased, the result being that Tokyo is now a major silverware producing area. Finally, please note that "sterling silver" denotes silver whose purity is 92.5% or greater.


Contact Details
Manufacturing Area
Cooperative Name
Tokyo Gold and Silverware Industrial Cooperative Association
Address2-24-4 Higashiueno, Taito Ward, Tokyo 111-0015
Telephone No.03 (3831) 3317
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