Cast iron cookware has a coveted place in Japanese homes, for its sturdy structure and elegant finish, as well as its ability to enhance the flavour of food and drink. The most revered cast iron items come from Iwate prefecture, and are called Nambu tekki. The prefecture, formerly known as Nambu, is rich in high-quality raw materials. In the mid-17th century, the head of the Nambu clan gathered the best artisans to come from Kyoto to craft iron teapots for ceremonies. The ironware’s rust-resistance, ability to retain an even heat, sophisticated appearance and incredible durability have won a loyal following ever since. 

The finish is classically black, but can be coated with coloured lacquer, especially by more modern producers. Decorative patterns are common, such as a studded motif or cherry blossom design. The most common Nambu tekki products are kettles and teapots, along with cooking pots and pans. The quality of the tea made with a Nambu pot is famed for its soft and mellow taste. Keep an eye out for Nambu ironware from brands including Iwachu (pictured), Oitomi and Oiharu.

Products in the same category