Kuniaki IWAMA

Iwate My name is Kunaiki Iwama, and I’m the third generation of my family to run this factory. When the tsunami hit in 2011, we were lucky in that the buildings were not destroyed, but all our important machines were ruined, so we are basically rebuilding again from scratch. Many of the others here were in their 60’s and 70’s, and have closed down now, but I’m in my 30’s, and I decided to rebuild. We’ve been fortunate, and have received a lot of support. We’re building an entirely new business, with steel work for partners who work in semiconductors, and forging new partnerships, too. But with Tetsumono, I make general household goods — light switches, “s” hooks — the things people need, they’re iron, and have a good solid feel, but they’re elegant! It’s easy to think that a factory such as this one is all big machines, but actually there’s a lot of hand craftsmanship needed to make these items, and I’d like people to really experience that. It’s funny how starting over can bring us back to our roots. It’s not a bad thing, and I’m optimistic for the future.

Experiences of Kuniaki IWAMA

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