Suzuka SumiSuzuka Sumi Ink Sticks

We burn produced pine in crowd of Suzuka early in the Heian era and take oil smoke, and what harden it with glue, and made sumi is informed with opening.
Family coat of arms of daimyo was selected as the Edo era, and people who needed sumi with private elementary school of the Edo period having spread out increased, and production increased partly because we were protected by feudal lord.

The making of ink sticks here is said to have begun at the end of the 8th century, when soot was obtained by burning pine that was cut from the mountains around Suzuka. An animal glue was then added to the soot which was dried and used to make ink.
During the Edo period (1600-1868) when feudal lords were designated family crests and schools for young children were established at temples, the number of people using ink increased and production of ink sticks under the protection of the clan rose.

Ink made from a Suzuka Sumi and used in a creative piece of work has a good appearance, a real sense of quality and depth. There is also a favorable balance between how the ink seeps into the paper and the solid parts of a line.

  • Notification

    skills and techniques

    Finish of "Moyu" is thing due to "sideburns".

    Molding is thing by "spatula push molding" or "hand grip molding" "sponge gourd roll molding" "we pay model molding".

    Drying is "ash spare drying" and thing by naturally drying.

    Finish is thing by "coating that how is" or "we meet coating".

    Raw materials

    Say that soot gathered from oil smoke of vegetable oil having materials which are equal to torch smoke or cloza oil, sesame oil or camellia oil or these.

    It be said that glia has materials which are equal to beef glia or deer glia or these.


  • Work scenery

    Origin of Suzuka Sumi is said to date back to the Enryaku era year (about 780) and we light big pine which grew wild and gather soot (soot) which pine nicotine ingredient burns, and occurs in the mountains of Suzuka and are informed by sumi when we did. Quality that climate and the quality of the water and ingredient of sumi were suitable, and Suzuka Sumi was superior in luster, and was cheerful. We are known as two major production centers of Japan with Nara. Because glia decays in the summer, and most processes are hard to be made up again by hand, it is severe work to concentrate on at cold winter time from October to April. Only for work to be influenced by temperature or humidity, long-time traditional technique and experience of craftsman are put to one order one order.

    Process 1: Glia dissolution (glue ghost)

    It is soot and glia, fragrance to become raw materials of sumi. Soot burns pine in sesame oil and cloza oil and we gather and grow. Because Edo era Suzuka was Kishu feudal clan, we were made with high quality Akamatsu of Wakayama. Soot of Akamatsu decreased, but we stock soot from Wakayama and are used now. Glia is removed from spinal cord of animal, and deer was important in old days, but thing of beef is used now. We put glia in the copper utensil called tampo and we add water and do hot water roasting and make starch syrup-formed liquid and remove impurities. We mix glia with soot with mixer after this and stock fragrance such as borneol (ryunou) to put out unique smell to soot as soon as we ask.

    Video is played when we click image

    Process 2: We rub (sideburns)

    We rub Moyu that we mixed briefly with mixer by hand this time and give. When we stretch out, with all power, we rub and rub while stepping with heel of foot again. Glia and soot of materials join well by working out well, and air falls out moderately again. Place where we rub, and judgment of addition and subtraction improves perception by experience of craftsman of this neighborhood.

    Process 3: Model case

    By size of sumi to make, we measure quantity of sumi and do in round stick form (kudamae) and can enter marbling quickly. After controlling with jack from 20 for 30 minutes, and having added pressure, we do profiling carefully.

    Process 4: Ash spare drying (haikaekanso)

    After having fixed form of sumi with planes, we dry. Sumi lasts for several hundred years if it becomes product, but it is sensitive at all to sudden change of neighboring temperature and humidity and it cracks and goes before completion, and mold grows. At first we dry in ash in ashes made from burned plants for 30 days from 5th to gradually reduce moisture included in sumi.

    Process 5: Knitting dried drying

    After having finished drying in ash, we knit out of straw and tie and hang and naturally dry in the air for six months from two months.

    Process 6: Finish

    We wash with water and remove dirts and improve in shell. Luster that we did glossily appears when we improve appearance in shellfishs which we sharpened. Such luster does not appear strangely if it is not shellfish. Suzuka Sumi is pine of mountain, shellfish of the sea and industrial art object which was born naturally simply because it is favored Suzuka. Finally we give painting and decoration and when it is to high-quality article which we made with soot such as sesame oil more for approximately three years, we lay from 5 for ten years and are completed.

    Video is played when we click image


  • Close-up

    It is fight Suzuka Sumi with living Moyu and whole body

    Suzuka Sumi which is known as production center of high quality sumi from the Edo era. Experience and perception of craftsman rely on the making of sumi in response to delicate environmental change almost by hand. The future heard story from Tadashi Ito of the prospective young susumimakotodosumiho third generation among craftsmen of Suzuka Sumi.


    Creature, experience and perception of craftsman rely on sumi

    Because glia is easy to rot in the summertime and is hard to harden, the making of sumi is severe winter work from October through April. If combination of glia is the same as soot of natural raw materials every day, we do not go. Sensitive thing which is influenced by delicate change of humidity and temperature. We seem to totally treat creature. There is not manual to be jostled process debating how many minutes. According to the perception of experienced craftsman, the time is big.
    "Air dries in winter morning, too, and temperature is low, too. There are lump, good sumi in shoe tree to some extent even if we pour water. But Moyu is gradually tense from noon and needs power to rub. Air by hand, and provide, can enter, and provide. We ascertain the best state and can enter model while rolling in hand. Temperature of glia is about the same as own temperature, and time when luster appeared to a bright shine is good. Work that Moyu that we mixed is jostled at a stretch is totally fight. We are covered with soot and are covered with sweat and we rub while sometimes stepping with foot and, with power of whole body, give. In valid Moyu, Ito faces each other to challenge.

    It is beautiful so as to be sorry to use. The traditional skill or artistic taste are gathered by one order one order

    To inherit Japanese culture to be able to be proud of

    In life of busy modern people, custom to write with sumi is apt to fade. It is apt to be to person and thing of some people including person of calligraphy which assume book and black-and-white drawing hobby. "Traditional Craft is Japanese original culture to be able to be proud of. If is going to tell it to the next generation, is product and others in environment after all to touch in life; do not open. Sumi wants to increase time for calligraphy at school; or is * kikaketeikantone in educational front. In addition, we think about product which fitted in the present times without being seized with tradition. In this, Ito thinks about the traditional future in large field of vision. We consider with new product for young, novel idea including low-priced sumi which can provide sumi to be able to grind and sumi which can enjoy flavor, taste of old sumi which we laid for a long time in one minute.

    Ito who rubs Moyu with all power

    We want to make "sumi only for you"

    However, part which is particular about tradition is big. For example, we are particular about soot of vegetable oil such as rapeseed or sesame.
    As "vegetable oil burns by low flame, particle of soot is small. Because zushi tto is heavy, and we soak into eyes of standard size Japanese paper, and small sumi of particle sets to the depths, color black deeply appears. Growth is good, too.
    We make sumi which use including black-and-white drawing use for kanji for kana included how you combine with detail, them of definite decision of quantity and soot of glia.
    "Materials of sumi are the same anywhere. But we can meet delicate needs of visitor by hand without promoting efficiency industrially simply because we are particular about making alone consistently. In person enjoying person of calligraphy and black-and-white drawing, there is person using only sumi which father made. There is color to be able to give only to father even if we say black of sumi. We want to become craftsman whom I am ordered from by name. We aim at making sumi only for you who fitted your use.

    It is said that there are 500-600 shoe trees in place of Ito. One shoe tree is worn if we make sumi of 2000-3000 orders

    Craftsman profile

    ITOCHU (mind but)

    It was born in 1964. After office worker life, is engaged in the making of sumi; and 16 years. In the world of Suzuka Sumi which there are few young generations, and the succession comes to have difficult, big expectation is sent. Sumi cooperative association executive managing director made of Suzuka.


    We develop charm of new sumi

    Ito is eager for development of sumi new in various ways including sumi to be able to strike in one minute. Reputation in particular being good "forest of sumi." It becomes color that is almost black limitlessly if we thicken, but color appears if we thin. There are eight colors of variations, but can mix each color now. Even Japanese traditional person who does not enjoy book with calm hue faintly brings himself/herself to seem to be able to write tasteful character. It is good to popular picture letter and black-and-white drawing now.

    • Eight kinds of wisteria, gingko nut, white birch, bamboo, colored leaves, plum, spiderwort, lily. One 2,000 yen

    • With quiet hue, we say and taste. We have writing brush in our hand unintentionally and feel like writing



Industrial art object name Suzuka Sumi
Phonetic symbol Bell haze
Classification of industrial art object Writing tools and Abacus
Main product Sum sumi
Main production area Mie / Suzuka-shi
The designation date October 16, 1980

Contact information

■local production associations

Sumi cooperative association made of Suzuka
5-5-15, Jike, Suzuka-shi, Mie
TEL: 059-388-4053
FAX: 059-386-4180

■Associated exhibit space, facility


Because Suzuka Sumi is geographical and it is blessed with conditions of climate climate, color development of sumi at the time of work creation is good, and it is refined, and there is depth, and baseline and blur harmonize wonderfully.

Suzuka-zumi ink owes its good coloring for producing works of art, high-quality depth, and good balance of clear lines and bleed to the beneficial geographical and climate and natural features of the production region.

How to make

We dissolve glue and perform kneading on fire alignment to make good sumi and make form. We dry and improve with bivalve and we paint and finish afterwards.

A hide glue called nikawa is melted, and kneaded into the ink in order to make good quality ink, then formed. Next, it is dried, polished using a bivalve shell, and finished with a decorative painting.

Voice from production center

Sumi which you used wipes off moisture enough, and please save in few places of change of temperature. Please use while enjoying graceful taste of sum sumi.