Ashiya Iron and Tatara Smelting



Narasaki and the Metal Teapot

Narasaki Kougetsu, the “discoverer” of the Katakamuna documents had been stationed in Manchuria during World War II.  He had an opportunity to visit a Taoist temple. The monk made tea by boiling the water with just a few leaves for the fire. Narasaki was astounded – how could the water boil so fast? He asked to purchase the teapot but the monk declined saying, “You can buy it in Japan.”

In the mountains of Rokkosan after the war, the hunter Hiratoji told Narasaki that the Ashiya tribe lost a war with its enemies and went to Kyushu. At Touga-kawa-kako, the end of the Touga River, there is a town called Ashiya. In Kyushu, there is a chagama teapot called Ashiya-kama. Could it be similar to the monk’s teapot?

In Fukuoka city, island of Kyushu, there is a tourist attraction called Ashiya-gama no Sato, Ashiya teapot village. Photo and quote from

The town of Ashiya earned national prominence as a maker of iron tea kettles for Japanese tea ceremonies, or “kama”, in the Muromachi Era (mid-14th century – late 16th century). Now, casters at Ashiyagama no Sato Village are hard at work trying to restore the production of such kettles in their studios.

Ashiya Iron

We turn our attention to learning more about the special iron in the teapot of the monk. In Iwate-ken, some people have in their possession what they call mochi-tetsu or bei-tetsu, meaning iron shaped like a ball of mochi rice cake. The early 20th century occult researcher Sakai Katsutoki went to see them. In more recent times, priest Omiya Shirou who is an author of many books about Old Shinto went and actually obtained a few stones. These are highly pure magnetic iron. They are colored red or black. Sometimes they would lose and regain their magnetism. Could they be the meteorite called hihi-iro-kane in the Takenouchi Documents?

Also found in Iwate by Sakai was an iron kagami mirror with writing on the back in kamiyo-moji, one of the scripts of the Age of Kami. It said: futa hashira / mitsunoe mitsunoto / kantakara. So it is speaking of divine treasures (kantakara). Futa hashira are two pillars.

Studies by Kanazawa University in Ishikawa have found iron foundries and iron mirrors from late Jomon times. This is much earlier than previously believed. Rudwig Beck who has been studying iron-making has stated: We don’t see ancient iron objects because iron rusts!

Tatara Technology

The people of Ashiya had a low-temperature technique for smelting iron. Pure iron melts at 1539 degrees. Even iron containing carbon requires a temperature of 1200. At this temperature, the copper in ore can be obtained, while bronze (a compound of copper and tin) melts at 700 degrees. Strangely, the Ashiya people smelted iron in bronze pots, in other words, at temperatures below 700 degrees!

Mochi-tetsu has high iron content and is related to low-temperature smelting. This technque went to the Izumo area which became reknown for it’s iron-making technique called tatara. Interestingly, the old kanji for tetsu iron could be read as “king of metals.”

In summary, people of Nihon have had metal-making techniques since ancient times, and this technology may stem from the Ashiya civilization’s “super-science.”

Ed. note: Some of the information in this post comes from Akiyoneto, Nazo no Katakamuna Bunmei, Mystery of Katakamuna Civilization, 1981, and also from Avery Morrow’s book. See earlier posts. If you use the search box for keywords such as Katakamuna, Narasaki, etc., you will find many other related posts.