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About Tatara

The Zuku-oshi Method

The work done in the zuku-oshi method differs only slightly from the kera-oshi method. In comparing the two, the special features of the zuku-oshi method are that:

  1. Akome iron sand is used as the base material;

  2. The position of the tuyere is low and at a slightly less than 1/2 incline, and so air can be blown throughout the whole of the lower part of the furnace;

  3. The angle of the lower part of the furnace is large; and

  4. Iron sand is added after the charcoal.
Another difference from the kera-oshi method is that this method involves raising the temperature of the entire furnace. Furnace life is long for this reason, and a four-day long process was mainly used.

In the Chugoku region there were numerous zuku-oshi-style tatara throughout the San'in and San'yo districts. The zuku-oshi method was also the main iron-manufacturing process used outside of the Chugoku region.


Tools used to collect iron sand (Wako Museum)

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