Kangetsu Arare


A traditional Japanese cast iron Tetsubin kettle handcrafted at the Oigen foundry where Nanbu Tekki ironware has been made for over 150 years. Unglazed on the inside with a classic Arare polka dot pattern, this compact and convenient Tetsubin kettle comes with a collapsible handle for easy storage.
Product Nanbu Tekki Tetsubin kettle
Origin Oshu, Iwate, Japan
Maker Oigen
Dimensions W19.3xD16.1xH20.2cm / base 8.5cm
Volume 1.2L
Weight 1.9kg
Coating Cashew-nut resin (outside), uncoated (inside)
Stove type Electric, gas
Material Cast iron
Sieb ohne Sieb
Decoration Arare (霰 "hail") pattern

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Oigen 及源

Since 1852, Oigen has been manufacturing kettles, pans and other cast ironware in the city of Oshu, Iwate prefecture: the home of Nanbu Tekki. The fifth generation family-run company is renowned for their functional, hard-wearing yet stylish products, scrupulously handcrafted to ensure they last a lifetime and bring joy to their customers. What’s more, they are made of up to 75% recycled materials, by incorporating melted down cast iron scraps.

Tetsubin 鉄瓶

Rustic and brimming with charm, the Japanese Tetsubin kettle warms hearts as much as it does tea. This traditional cast iron kettle (“tetsu-bin” translates to “iron vessel”) is used to boil water during tea ceremonies, but equally in the home and for cooking. Uncoated on the inside, the iron mineralises and softens water, which helps to lessen the astringency of green teas, making for a richer, sweeter brew. The origin of the tetsubin is uncertain, however it is most certainly a development of the older spout- and handle-free Chagama (茶釜) “tea kettle” that is heated atop a brazier or hearth. Since the Tetsubin is more portable, it is frequently used for outdoor tea ceremonies in place of the conventional Chagama. Often elaborately decorated with relief designs, Tetsubin also come in a variety of shapes and sizes, making them a much coveted item amongst teaware collectors.

Nanbu Tekki 南部鉄器

The origins of Nanbu Tekki or “Nanbu ironware” go back to the mid-17th century, when the Nanbu samurai clan were in need of Buddhist altars, bells and chagama tea pots to furnish their newly built castle in Morioka, Iwate prefecture, and so invited skilled metal casters from across the country to lend them a hand. Although the name Nanbu is written in the kanji as “southern region” the clan ruled in the north of Japan, where materials needed for ironwork were naturally abundant. Highly durable, Nanbu Tekki wares are often deemed the best metalwork in Japan and make beloved heirlooms – particularly cast iron kettles or tetsubin, which are also highly sought after by collectors around the world. In 1975 Nanbu Tekki was designated the first certified Traditional Craft of Japan, and exclusively refers to cast iron products made in the cities of Morioka and Oshu.



This Tetsubin is cast in a sand mould that is meticulously decorated with stamped or freehand motifs before it is fired at a temperature of around 1000°C to form a solid mould into which 1500°C molten iron can then be poured. Once the iron has cooled and set, the Tetsubin is removed from the mould and is coated on the outside with a varnish made from cashew nuts to increase the durability of the iron. To prevent rust from developing the Tetsubin is baked again, this time at 900°C, to create an oxide film inside the kettle in a process known as Kamayaki (釜焼き "iron pot firing") which is unique to Nanbu Tekki.. Oigen are particularly proud of their natural finishing that allows plenty of iron to be released when boiling water.

How to use

Before use, please prepare the tetsubin kettle as per the maker’s instructions: first, pour hard water (preferably with a hardness of about 300mg/l, such as Evian or Vittel) into the tetsubin so that it is about 80% full, to prevent spillage when boiling. With the lid off, heat the tetsubin over a medium heat on a gas or electric hob, or low to medium on an induction hob if compatible, for about 20 minutes. Then place the lid on, take a kitchen towel or oven mitt to grab hold of the handle, and carefully discard the boiling water. Remove the lid and leave to dry with the residual heat on top of a trivet or protected surface – never put empty tetsubin on a hot hob. When the tetsubin body has cooled down, repeat this process two more times. As the calcium and magnesium in the hard water crystallise when boiled, this creates a protective layer of scale inside the tetsubin to stop rust developing. Once the tetsubin is prepared, boil the water of your choice using the same procedure, ensuring to take the tetsubin off the heat as soon as it has boiled to prevent overheating the kettle and pouring all the water out while it is still hot.


Never leave water, hot or cold, standing in the kettle. Do not put it in the microwave, oven, dishwasher or dryer. Do not boil or brew tea in a tetsubin (unless it is a combination model), only plain water. Fill between 50% to 80% and always boil with the lid off or tilted to prevent water from boiling over. Always leave to dry with the lid off. Do not clean the inside of the tetsubin so that the scale/patina remains intact. Clean the outside with a dry cloth and wipe off any moisture straight away. It is recommended to use tetsubin often, and when not in use please store in a well-ventilated place. Although highly durable, please do not drop the tetsubin as this can lead to fractures.

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