【Sanshu-Gawara】The demon that continues to protect the house with the roof tiles.

Making Process of Sanshu-Gawara


 Molding the shape is based on the drawings. Not only the entire shape, but also craftsmen have to pay attention to the detail of design.


Shaping the entire piece. A spatula is used to carefully remove any slight bumps or wasted areas.


After molding and polishing are completed, the pieces are placed in a large kiln and fired. The clay-colored pieces turn silver.

You can watch the production process of Sanshu Gawara on YouTube!


What is Sanshu-Gawara?

Tiles are made by hardening clay into a certain shape and firing it in a kiln. It is mainly used for roofs of houses because of its excellent durability and heat insulation. It protects the roof from wind and rain and there are more various designs other than the normal curved tiles. The most famous roof tile is the “Onigawara” which is decorated with a Japanese evil motif and is meant to ward off evil spirits or as an interior decoration. The color of the tiles also varies from region to region. In a country like Japan, where there are four distinct seasons with large temperature differences and relatively heavy precipitation, ibushigawara tiles can be used. In regions where the temperature and humidity are somewhat constant, and the precipitation is low, unglazed tiles with a reddish color are often used.

More than 70% of Domestic Production in Japanese Roof Tiles!

Sanshu tiles are made in the Nishimikawa region of Aichi Prefecture. Sanshu tiles are superior in sound insulation, heat insulation, and durability. All of which are unique characteristics of roof tiles. The use of natural materials also results in an uneven coloring of the tiles. These tiles are also popular among those who want to enjoy the changes in color over time. Today, Aichi prefecture is the largest producer of clay roof tiles in Japan, accounting for about 70% of the nation’s total production. In addition to roof tiles, there are many other products used in daily life. Please visit Suigenkyo online store to see what we offer!

History of Sanshu-Gawara

The Mikawa region of Aichi Prefecture, where Sanshu Tiles are made, is known as one of the three major tile-producing regions in Japan. Tile production was encouraged by the 8th General: Tokugawa Yoshimune in the Edo period (1603-1868). It flourished as a local industry in this region. The industry was developed as a result of the mountains and rivers flowing through the region, which made it possible to use the high-quality clay that could be extracted as a raw material for the tiles. Also, the location is facing the sea, which was ideal for transportation to the Capital City (Edo: Current Tokyo).

Onigawara is evolving to unique crafts!

We mentioned that roof tiles are mainly used for house roofs, but today there are companies that are developing products from a new perspective because of the low demand for tile roofs. Onifuku Co., Ltd. is developing all kinds of crafts that can be used in daily life. For example, the tissue case with an onigawara motif is designed to make you giggle as you take tissues out through the nostrils of the evil. Other crafts include paper weights in colorful pattern that are completely different from the traditional silver-colored kawara tiles. Please click the link below to read an interview with Mr. Suzuki, the president of Onifuku, who continues to make new crafts that are unique to the traditional kawara!

Tiles used for roofing houses are not just for protecting from the wind or rain, but also used in a way that suits the characteristics of the region. When you build your new house, why don’t you thinking about having the Japanese roof tile? We also offer a variety of products for everyday use in addition to roof tiles. Please visit Suigenkyo online store to see the latest collection!

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