Amita Co. artists: Minai, Torahiko Kanamori, Takeshi

Nogawa, Noboru [能川登]

Nogawa's expert workmen pouring molten bronze into moulds

Nogawa Shoten (能川商店, "Shoten" means "shop") was founded in 1825 at 22 Shijo Otabicho, Kyoto. Nogawa acted both as a manufacturer and dealer and in addition to the workshop had showrooms in the Kyoto Hotel and the Miyako Hotel, the city’s most exclusive hotels. Although there is surprisingly little documentation on the company, it appears to have been well-known at the time. It exhibited at several large overseas exhibitions between 1893 and 1910.
In advertising, the company introduced itself as a manufacturer of bronze and fine art wares, which included garden items, birds, animals, human figures, Buddhas, gongs and bells, vases, lanterns and small pieces. Nogawa also sold cloisonne ware, damascene works, ivory carving, lacquer ware, pearls, prints and Satsuma ware.
Seaman A. Knapp, who in 1898 was sent by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to Japan to study rice cultivation, describes in his diary his visit to the N. Nogawa workshop as follows:
Nov. 10, 1898.
I took my bath at 6:30 and as soon as practicable after breakfast found by jinrikisha boy "Sam" and went to the city. I first visited Nogawa No. 22 Shijio Otabi-chio, Kioto, and bought a tea pot cloisonne work and napkin ring of inlaid copper. Inlaid copper is beautiful work. Gold & silver wire images range from 30 to 100 sen per day. Artist gets 3 sen per day.

Inside the workshop

Around 1902 the workshop moved from 22 Shijo Otabicho to 35 Shijo Otabicho, Kyoto. In early 1920s, Seizo Nogawa, presumably Noboru's son, joined the workshop and began to represent company's works at national and foreign exhibitions.
Kjeld Duits in his article for the Old Photos Japan website writes that because of the lack of documentation, until recently (and even still) Nogawa metalwork was identified as being from the Hattori Co. It was only during the early 2000's that experts discovered that the distinctive mark they had believed as belonging to Hattori, was actually Nogawa’s trade-mark. It features the stylized hiragana character [の] ("no") with three vertical lines in the background signifying the kanji character for river [川] ("kawa", or "gawa" in compounds). This is effectively pronounced as "Nogawa". This new discovery meant a drastic evaluation of Nogawa’s small but productive workshop.

Addresses and locations
Examples (from the web)