Koyo Seiga is a kiln founded in 1920. Since then, they keep the tradition of Japanese traditional Ibushi Kawara (roof tile). High quality of their products is renown and they were chosen as one of the kilns to produce and replace new roof tiles on the roof of UNESCO World Heritage site HIMEJI castle during Heisei era. The Shachihoko of Himeji castle is also made by Koyo Seiga.
Their Ibushi Silver is shining to the world at the same as keeping the tradition of Ibushi Kawara.
The best quality traditional Kawara in Japan.
Among many types of Kawara, Ibushi kawara is known to be one of the best. ‘Koyo tiles’ made by their company are used from shrine, temple to general housing. Ibushi silver is the result of carbon film fixed on the surface of tile. It has a unique brilliance and color.
One of the best quality Japanese traditional tile
Their tile is known to be one of the best among many different types of roof tiles. Cement tile,slate tile, metal tiles are popular for their affordable price but ceramic tiles made from clay are said to have better durability. Among the ceramic tiles, Ibushi tiles are said to have better quality than glazed ceramic tiles. Koyo tiles are Ibushi tiles so smoking is applied at the last process of the production. By applying the carbon film (Ibushi Silver) on the surface of roof tiles, the unique color and luster of Ibushi Silver is obtained. Ibushi tiles are not only excellent in design and durability but also have function to keep people comfortable. While letting out the humidity from inside, it does not let big molecule such as rain and function as a high-tech rain wear to keep the inside comfortable. Their Koyo tiles are used by shrine, temple to general housings.
Originality of Koyo roof tiles
In the manufacturing process of tiles, ‘loading the kiln’ and ‘polishing’ are particular to Koyo tiles. As their tiles are unglazed, polished surface shines with Ibushi silver. As the green bodies will become the finished surface, the quality of tile depends on accuracy of polishing. Although the polishing is often skipped when they think about the cost but at Koyo Seiga, they keep the tradition of polishing. For “loading the kiln”, they use the traditional “Yokka Gama” which literally means firing for four days. As a result of slowly firing and slowly cooling, the strong Koyo tile, which is resistant to break, is born.
Onigawara – Made by Oni-shi and only one in the world
Onigawara is a type of roof ornamentation depicting the face of Oni (Japanese ogre) or Karajishi (lion). It is said to protect the house, temple and shrine from evil spirits and made by the artisan called Oni-shi. Nowadays, only a few Kawara brand has Oni-shi. Blueprint never exists for Onigawara and those roof tiles are made solely from On i-shi’s image in his head. This is the reason why there is not a single Onigawara which is sames the other.
Kawara-buki – Their artisans not only produce
the tiles but also install them
Kawara-buki is the process of installing kawara (roof tiles) on roof. At Koyo Ibushi, they not only manufacture and sell tiles but also take care of installation, as a general rule. For them, there is no identical roof and the adjustment is needed for each roof. Price of their tiles are more expensive than the ones distributed generally but they guarantee the quality and the service. The Ibushi tiles is said to keep its brilliant Ibushi silver for 50 years even without maintenance.
Kawara roof repair – They will repair the roof tiles that match the current roof by baking them from one piece.
At Koyo Seiga, they repair dilapidated roof or leakage / breakage caused by natural disaster such as typhoon or earthquake, regardless or its age or style. Depending on the year of the installation, your tile may not be the standard size of roof tile today. But at Koyo Seiga, they will adjust and bake from one tile as they manufacture by themselves. Their focus is to conserve old tiles as long as it can be used. For this reason, they sometimes take off the tiles to replace the base then put back the tiles.
Wall & Floor – Bringing the stregth and the beauty of Ibushi tiles to wall & floor
To pass techniques of Koyo tiles to the next generation, Koyo Ibushi, which is the interrior material with Ibushi Silver, was born. By applying a 100-year-old technology and develop to floor and wall materials, they have found a new possibility of Koyo tiles. It is acclaimed as a new material born from traditisuch in Japan and internationally for its method of incorporating the brilliance of Ibushi silver into the space design as an accent and overseas. Famous brands or buildings are using these materials.