Kaikado is a company located in Kyoto, Japan that manufactures and sells hand-made metal canisters and tea caddies. The items have been made by members of the Yagi family for six generations.
The company manufactures tea canisters called chazutsu in Japanese (cha is the Japanese word for tea, zutsu for canister) out of copper, brass, or tin, using designs that have not changed since the company opened in 1875.
One important feature of the canisters is the tight fit between the lid and the container, ensuring it remains airtight, to ensure the tea contained inside stays fresh. The hand-manufacturing process involves 130 to 140 steps, using a process that has remained unchanged since the company opened. Many of the dies and molds used today are from the early years of the company.
In 2022, the company’s workshop employs a team of eight full-time artisans, most having an art school background; with office staff, the company employs 15 people. The family-run business is currently run by Takahiro Yagi (a sixth-generation descendant of founder Kiyosuke) who works with his father Seiji and the other craftspeople in the shop. The skills are not formally taught to the craftsman, instead, they learn by being shown how to work the metal; they develop the skills on their own by making the items one at a time.
Yagi can produce around 10 canisters a day, and the company makes around 40 canisters a day. The company also makes copper teapots, first made in collaboration with the Danish studio OEO. The collaboration was meant to update products or create new ones for an international market; Kaikado was one of six Japanese companies involved in the process. OeO “tweaked the basic shapes and designed a range that includes various jugs, containers and serving trays made from brass, copper and wood” as part of the collaboration.
According to the internet