Soejima Glass [Bizen Bidoro]

 Inheriting the only technology in Saga
 Glass designated as an important intangible cultural property

Saga Prefecture has long been proud of its high manufacturing technology. The basis for this was the "refining method" established by Nabeshima Naomasa, a teenager of the Saga Nabeshima Domain, in 1852. The refining method is what is now called RIKEN. It is a facility aimed at developing technologies to strengthen the clan, such as cannon casting.
The smelting method also had a place to make the glass needed to test chemicals and gunpowder. In the Meiji era, the refining method changed from the clan to a private company. Focusing on the production of glass for lamps, which was indispensable at that time, glass products that are useful for people's lives have come to be manufactured. From there, the "Hizen Bidoro" air-blown glass vessel was developed.

The one and only technology left by continuing to adapt to the times
Refining method One of the glass craftsmen is Genichiro Soejima, who founded Soejima Glass Industry Co., Ltd. in 1903. Initially, we continued to make living tools such as glass for lamps and bottles for sake, but gradually managed due to the appearance of mass-produced glass and plastic and the decrease in demand for lamp glass. Will fall to the right. The glass factory, which is the ancestor of two other glass craftsmen, has already closed. Soejima Glass was also in danger.
"When my father, who was the former president, said to the craftsman,'Look for another job,' the factory manager said,'I think I've finally mastered the skills to make what I want to make. I spilled, "What was the time so far?" I strongly thought, "I have to do something about it." Mr. Taro Soejima, the current president, looks back on those days and says so. "I wanted to change what I make. If I make something that suits the times, I will be asked for it."
From that time on, I went to business during the day, learned how to make glass at night, and repeated experiments. "Until then, Hizen Bidoro was mainly transparent. Then, I thought I would try to incorporate soda glass and colored glass that I had never seen before, so I tried various things on my own."

The deep blue and bright red glass that are now the representative colors of Hizen Hybrid are adapting to the times. It can be said that it is a brilliance born from the challenge of going.
The change may be small. Even if you can't see it now, in 10 to 20 years, change will appear as an evolutionary step to further enhance traditional techniques. "Active adoption of new technologies preserves and strengthens traditions." It may be the spirit of Saga's manufacturing, which is similar to the spirit of Nabeshima Naomasa.

Buyer's Voice
Greedy in learning.
A new world of Hizen Bidoro that is born because of that.
Glass designated as an important intangible cultural property of the prefecture, with only one place left in Saga. After seeing the simple and delicate glass products, I definitely wanted to handle them. President Soejima, who I met with the desire to hear what kind of thought he had kept one technology, began to talk about the history of the Saga Nabeshima clan.
Why was the technology of Nagasaki Bidoro, who came to Dejima, transmitted to Saga? Why did Nabeshima Naomasa try to make a refining method, and how did Hizen, who was called "Satsunaga Dohi" in the Meiji Restoration, lead the Meiji Restoration? The broad knowledge was such that I forgot the time I was asking for a factory tour.

The fact that there was President Soejima who had both a greedy desire for knowledge and a spirit of challenge left "Soejima Glass" and kept the tradition of "Hizen Bidoro". right. After talking about that, President Soejima talked about Darwin's theory of evolution. "What survives is neither strong nor wise, it can change." Once again, it is a word with deep implications. 
President Soejima is currently working on the fusion of metal and glass. The glass produced by the technique of vacuum deposition was a mysterious glass that shines while changing the color at the viewing position. 
What can you do with this glass? I would like to think with President Soejima.