photo Smithing


Smithing, called tankin in Japanese, is when a flat piece of metal is bent and stretched by being hit with a mallet on a wooden stand. Then, iron bars of differing sizes known as ategane are poked toward a wooden platform to gradually create a form. A piece of metal must be beat tens of thousands of times to create a single finished work.
Smithed metalwork is thin and light yet sturdy. It can be given a smooth finish, so that one cannot tell it has been beaten, or the marks from beating can be left intentionally to give it some texture.


  1. 1.Metal is heated to around 600-700℃ (about 1112-1292℉).
  2. 2.The metal is placed on the indented section of a wooden stand and beat with a hammer to flatten it out.
  3. 3.A hammer is used to bend the metal by beating it on top of a curved iron bar called ategane.
  4. 4.The metal is beat with various implements tens of thousands of times until it's complete.
  • "What Are Traditional Crafts? -A Guidebook to Seeing, Learning, and Enjoying-" Edited by the Japan Kogei Association Eastern Branch. Published by Unsodo Reference artworks