Why Miki City?
Sekichu Co. Ltd. is located in Miki City, Hyogo Prefecture, which is well known as a metal working town. Miki was the first town in Japan where carpenters and blacksmiths worked together in the 5th Century. During the Civil Wars in Japan (15th - 16th Century), blacksmiths in Miki started making swords and by the time the Edo Era (1603-1868) began, hand-forged metal tools made in Miki had been carried by carpenters to other districts and had become highly appreciated.
Trowels were among those hand-forged tools the carpenters carried with them, and the knowledge used in their forging extends back over 1000 years. Now 95%-98% of Japanese trowels are manufactured in Miki City.
What is “sakan”?
Plastering is called “sakan” in Japanese; the word sakan also means a plasterer or stucco master. The titles “sakan” and “ukan” (“sa” means left, “u” means right) are said to have first been given to carpenters by the Emperor at the Taika Era Reforms in the 7th century. Since then the trowel has been the main tool for sakan and the tool has an equally long history of over 1000 years. One sakan usually owns hundreds of trowels and some own close to 1,000 trowels.
The art of Japanese plastering and the thick earthen walls which the plaster often covers has made it possible for traditional Japanese houses, walls or warehouses to remain intact over the centuries against many natural disasters such as a fires, floods, and earthquakes. Thus it can be said that these humble trowels utilized by skilled hands have played a major role in preserving the history of traditional Japanese architecture.
Since our foundation in 1963, Sekichu Co. Ltd. has specialized in dealing with plastering tools. The first Tokyo Olympics were held in 1963, and it is also said to mark the period when Japanese industry became almost fully mechanized. Consequently, the demand and use of traditional hand tools for construction work declined while the Japanese economy grew unabated into the 1970s. Despite these trends, high quality plastering still needs to be finished by hand and this is why it is very important to pair well-made trowels with experienced hands.
Sekichu’s trowels are not just tools, but hand forged artwork. As a wholesale company we provide detailed information and the widest range of possible trowels that you could possibly imagine.