Tagane for husband, hammer for wife.

 
 

Shunkou Shinmori (aka Tsunejiro)

He was born on June 15th in 1891 as a forth son of a blacksmith in Nakajima-cho, Takaoka. His real name is Tsunejiro. After his father’s death, he was adopted to a family in Kanazawa at the age of 4.  He joined in the goldsmith’s factory in Tokyo when he was 15 years old. Nobuyuki Tanaka is one of his factory mates from Takaoka. During 7 years of practicing, he learned greasing technique and incrustation and moved back to Takaoka to start his own copper business. 

He suffered from palsy at the age of 50 which caused the left half of his body paralyzed. In order to raise the medical and living expense, he sold the house in Nakajimacho and moved around the towns in Takaoka. Being physically disabled and financially insecure, the couple came up with the collaborating skills with a graver on Shunkou’s right hand and a hammer on Saki’s hand hitting the graver. In April 1959 at the royal wedding, they were ordered to make 200 copper vases with carp patterns graved as commemorative gift by the family of the princess when Shunkou was 68 years old. And around the same time he was awarded by the prefectural governor of Toyama and the Minister of Health and Welfare as a model of Self-Rehabilitation. Diseased on January 18th in 1966 at the age of 75.

 
 
 

Tsunejiro and Saki Shinmori are the married copper craftsmen couple whom Seiichi Hishikawa met during his research in Takaoka. 

Tsunejiro lost one of his arms because of a disease which was fatal as a caster but Sake saved his career. While he holds and takes control of Tagane, a graver, she hits it with an iron hammer. There were times she hit her husband’s fingers in the beginning.

 
 
 

They worked together so hard and finished the amazing lively embossed carp patterns.

As their works got much reputation, they got awarded by the prefectural governor of Toyama and the Minister of Health and Welfare. Their success made Takaoka’s copper crafts culture popular. The short film “Suzu” is dedicated to the Shinmori couple who is an icon of a craftsman couple and made significant contributions to the development of Takaoka’s crafts culture.