Nanbu ironware, the best known examples of which are iron kettles used for boiling water, is the local specialty of Iwate Prefecture. Nanbu ironware was first produced when iron workers were invited from Koshu (now Yamanashi Prefecture) after the seat of governance for this district was moved from the present Hachinohe-shi in Aomori Prefecture to Morioka-shi in Iwate Prefecture, in 1633. Initially ironwork production here was dominated by cauldrons, however as the tea ceremony grew in popularity, the iron kettle is said to have been created by making these cauldrons smaller and adding a spout and a handle. Nowadays the ironworkers of this region produce around 35 different products – not only iron kettles but also wind chimes, bottle openers, ashtrays, ornaments, wall hangings and vases. Nanbu ironware was designated a traditional craft by the Japanese government in 1975.
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