關於瓦貓The Story of Kawara Neko

「因為貓咪就喜歡屋瓦嘛」 “Because cats love Kawara, right?” 使用三州瓦技術打造的貓窩
A cat house made with traditional Sansyu kawara techniques:
Presenting Kawara Neko

Founded in 1913, Sansyu Noyasu Co., Ltd. is a 100-year-old company that has been manufacturing Sansyu kawara since the Edo period.
Oni-kawara (decorative ridge-end roof tile) artisans make use of traditional techniques with the greatest attention to detail in individually crafting each authentic cat house.
This is the origin story of the Kawara Neko cat house, born of the “Kawara Neko Project” under the direction of a cat-loving person.

――自江戶時代開始,三州就以屋瓦三大產地(三州、石州、淡路)之一廣為人知。首先,請介紹一下什麼是「三州瓦」。 ――Sansyu has been known as one of the three major roof tile production areas—Sansyu, Sekisyu, and Awaji—since the Edo period. Please start off by telling us about “Sansyu kawara.”

自江戶時代開始普及的屋瓦,據說起源於安土桃山時代的日本城。隨著各地城下町逐漸都市化,在江戶時代中期的1700年代左右,一般住宅也開始使用屋瓦。屋瓦產地三州的歷史,也由此開始。隨著江戶和各地城市發展而欣欣向榮的屋瓦產業當中,三州(三河)因便於船運而迅速發展。此外,三州出產大量適合製造屋瓦的優質黏土「三河土」,也是讓三州瓦取得優質評價的原因之一。在日本共有約40種屋瓦,全國各地約有50處屋瓦產地。當中,三州瓦是獲得日本經濟產業省專利廳認證為「地域品牌」的屋頂材料,出貨量佔日本國內屋瓦市場的70%。 Kawara made since the Edo period are said to have originated in the castles of the Azuchi-Momoyama period. Urbanization of castle towns in various places progressed after that period, and it was during the middle of the Edo period in the 1700s that kawara began to be used for ordinary houses. Sansyu’s history as a kawara production area began about that time. As the kawara industry prospered with the development of Edo and other cities, Sansyu (Mikawa) saw especially rapid growth thanks to capability to transport goods by sea. In addition, large amounts of “Mikawa clay, a high-quality clay suitable for kawara, were excavated in Sansyu. This is one reason for Sansyu kawara’s reputation for superior quality. There are about forty kinds of kawara in Japan and around fifty kawara production areas nationwide, but Sansyu has been recognized as roofing materials and received the “Regional Brand” designation by the Japan Patent Office. Sansyu kawara account for approximately 70% of the kawara shipped nationwide.

――人稱日本六大古窯的常滑,到瀨戶、美濃、多治見一帶從地形上來看,確實是優良的黏土地質。在這片廣大的陶器產區,三州野安株式會社作為專業的屋頂瓦片製造商,已有百年以上的歷史。在有各式材質屋瓦供人選擇的現代,黏土屋瓦的優勢是什麼? ――We know that geographically there is a layer of high-quality clay from Tokoname—one of Japan’s “Six Ancient Kilns”—to Seto, Mino, and Tajimi. It is in this major region of flourishing ceramics activity that Sansyu Noyasu Co., Ltd. has a history of 100 years as a specialized kawara manufacturer. Among the various different roofing materials available today, what are the advantages of clay kawara?

黏土瓦本來就是一種不需要特別維護,就能持續守護房屋50年以上的可靠存在。可惜的是,有些人光看到因巨大地震而毀損的屋舍景象,就對屋瓦抱持負面印象。事實上,屋瓦基於正確施工時的安全性,已經有檢驗數據佐證。與其他屋頂材料相比,黏土瓦很少發生變色等劣化狀況,幾乎不需要重新粉刷。即使出現裂痕或破損等缺陷,通常也只需要更換幾片就好,沒有定期大規模維修的煩惱。不僅如此,黏土瓦還具有高度透氣性,可以防止容易損壞房屋構造的「結露」現象,是能夠長時間維持住宅壽命的理想屋頂材料。最重要的是,與其他屋頂材料相比,黏土瓦擁有出色的隔熱性和保溫性,夏天能夠阻擋來自外界的熱量保持涼爽,保溫效果則能維持冬季室內暖和。 Kawara have always been a reliable material, capable of helping to protect a house for over fifty years even without any special maintenance. Unfortunately, some may have the negative image kawara from film and video footage of houses destroyed in major earthquakes, but the data verify the safety of kawara that have been properly installed. Clay kawara are vastly less prone to discoloration and other kinds of deterioration than other roofing materials, and they required almost no repainting. Even if cracking or splitting does occur, replacing several tiles is usually sufficient, so there is no need to worry about major costly repairs. What’s more, it is also an ideal roofing material with superior breathability, preventing condensation—a major cause of damage to objects—and enhancing homes’ durability. The most significant advantage of clay kawara over other roofing materials is their superior heat insulation, blocking heat from the outside to keep homes cool in the summer, and heat retention to keep homes warm in the winter.

An unusual opportunity to understand
the feel, beauty, and superior quality
of kawara materials.

――瓦片屋頂的確有「夏涼冬暖」的印象呢。「瓦貓」就是為了活用這種黏土屋瓦特徵而成立的新計畫。成立這項計畫的實際契機是什麼呢? ――They certainly have that “cool in summer, warm in winter” image.Now you have launched a new project, one that leverages these characteristics of kawara.What brought this about?

一切始於某次跟建商開會時,對方詢問「最近寵物友善住宅很受歡迎,有沒有辦法製作跟住宅一樣高品質的狗屋呢?」。接著有人說,如果有跟房屋一樣,用真正屋瓦蓋出來的狗屋,應該會很有趣。話題就又接到「說到屋瓦,貓咪不是經常在屋頂瓦片上睡得香甜嗎?」,於是我們在2019年開始了寵物貓狗用的寵物屋計畫。這項計畫得一開始除了獲得有意援助傳統企業製作新商品的縣政府支持,也得到來自具備年輕創意的大同大學的協助。 It started during a meeting with a house builder, when we were asked, “With today’s housing projects now allowing pets, might it be possible to create a house for pet dogs built with the same quality as a regular house?” A discussion about how it would be interesting to build a dog house with real kawara, just like human homes, led to talk about how cats sleep so comfortably on kawara, and the pet house project for dogs and cats began in 2019. We started out by getting backing from the prefectural government, which supports traditional businesses’ manufacturing efforts, and collaborating with Daido University, which comes up with new and fresh ideas.

――也就是說,是為了在屋瓦材質越來越多樣化的時代,嘗試為黏土瓦尋找新的可能性? ――So as roofing materials have diversified, you’ve been aiming to discover new possibilities for kawara, right?

隨著屋頂材料越來越多樣化,近年黏土屋瓦的銷售量有所減少。這項計畫成為我們摸索新形式黏土瓦製品的好機會。我們希望能讓一般大眾認識在日常生活當中少有機會接觸的屋瓦觸感、屋瓦之美和屋瓦材質的優點。要達成這個目標,就需要製造出一款人人都能簡單接觸到的商品。一旦做成屋頂,一般人就基本沒有機會觸摸到了。但若是放在家中的貓窩,就有辦法讓人在日常生活當中直接感受屋瓦的魅力。 There’s a greater range of different roofing materials, along with a recent decrease in shipments of clay kawara. This project was a good opportunity to explore new kinds of kawara products. We want people to understand the feel, beauty, and superior quality of kawara materials, which is something we don’t have much chance to experience in ordinary daily life. The best way to do that is with products that anyone can actually touch and feel. Once a kawara goes on the roof, it is basically out of reach, but we thought that having these cat houses inside homes would allow people to sense the charm of kawara on a daily basis.

――所以就啟動了使用黏土瓦製作貓窩的「瓦貓計畫」。 ――And you launched the “Kawara Neko Project,” making cat houses from kawara.

瓦貓計畫主要由一群喜愛貓咪的員工組成。這是愛貓人士專為貓咪打造的小窩。我們嘗試貼近貓咪的感受思考,例如貓咪喜歡狹窄的地方、不知為何很多貓咪都喜歡粉紅色等等。黏土瓦特有的「夏涼冬暖」性質,可以讓貓咪感到舒適,也因此在日本的國民動漫作品中,都能看到貓咪睡在屋頂上曬太陽的溫馨場景。我們由此得到了「貓咪果然喜歡屋瓦吧」的結論,計畫的標語「因為貓咪就喜歡屋瓦嘛」就這樣誕生了。由於黏土瓦具有保溫性,所以可以維持冬天室內的溫暖。作為貓窩外觀設計參考的雪屋,恰好也具有同樣的特性。瓦貓的另一項主要特徵,就是能讓貓咪在上頭捲起身子睡覺的平坦屋頂。 The core team of the Kawara Neko Project consisted of employees who love cats. These houses are made for cats, by people who like cats.They considered cats’ preferences, such as how they like small, tight spaces and how many cats somehow like the color pink. The fact that kawara are cool in summer and warm in winter make them comfortable for cats as well. There’s also a heart-warming scene in a popular Japanese anime with a cat basking in the sun on a kawara roof. At that point, we saw how much cats love kawara, which led to the project’s slogan, “Because cats love kawara, right?” Kawara retain heat, which keeps their interior warm in winter. The design is also just like that of a kamakura, compacted snow hut. A major feature of the house is that the top is flat, allowing cats to climb up on the top and sleep curled up.

Kawara Neko, a handicraft
that exhibits the onishi’s master skills
as only kawara can.

――從貓的感受出發,打造雪屋造型的貓窩。要按照設計做出這個造型,果然還是需要精巧的技術嗎? ――So you were able to come up with a kamakura-shaped cat house that’s appealing to cats.Were any advanced techniques needed to make this design an actual product?

高濱市也以出產「鬼瓦」聞名,製作鬼瓦的工匠稱為「鬼師」。他們是專業的製瓦師傅,能夠熟練地手工製作複雜而立體的瓦片。「瓦貓」就是鬼師以純熟手藝打造的工藝品。首先,切割黏土塊並用模具塑形,再用專用的刀具切齊斷面、挖出窗戶。乍看之下很簡單,其實操作起來非常困難。要準確地手工製作這種大尺寸的東西,就需要依賴鬼師的高超手藝。能否將黏土平均填滿模具的每個角落,取決於推壓力道的經驗與直覺。因為太用力推壓,就容易造成裂痕或直接斷開。之後,為了避免土坯變形,會先花上10天左右時間慢慢乾燥,再放入陶窯內以攝氏1150度的高溫烘烤一日一夜。 In Takahama City, which is also famous for Oni-kawara, there are craftsmen called “onishi.” They are kawara manufacturing professionals with superb skills who hand-craft complex, three-dimensional kawara. You could say that Kawara Neko is a type of handicraft that exhibits the onishi’s master skills as only kawara can. First, they chamfer therough ground and mold it in a metal mold, then use a special knife to align the cross-sections and cut out the openings. It seems simple, but it’s difficult to do. To craft something of this size by hand with that kind of precision requires the onishi’s expert skills. Getting just the right amount of pressure on the clay to spread it evenly at every point requires experience and intuition. Applying too much force will cause the clay to crack or split. After this step, the piece is slowly dried for about ten days to prevent any deformation, and then it’s fired in a kiln at the high temperature of 1150 degrees Celsius for an entire day and night.

――不僅使用和屋瓦同樣的材料,還堅持由製瓦專家「鬼師」手工製作,令人確實感受到百年老店追求真材實料的真摯工匠精神。 ――Not only are these cat houses made from the same material as kawara, the uncompromising approach that the onishi take in handcrafting these works also conveys the sincere and authentic approach to manufacturing of this long-established company, a firm that has been in business for over a century.

瓦貓共有三種顏色款式。呈現黏土原有質感、外貌,不使用釉藥的素燒「素」。還有參考雪屋形象的「白」,以及意外受貓咪們喜愛的柔和沉穩的粉紅色「櫻」。釉藥以顯色能力良好的屋瓦專用釉藥為基礎,並配合「瓦貓」的形狀不斷改良、調整色澤。由鬼師精心手工製作,使用天然素材,擁有高品質、堅固又衛生的黏土瓦的特性,搭配兼具裝飾性的設計,「瓦貓」在日本最大規模的寵物展上取得了大大超乎想像的好評。 Kawara Neko comes in three colors: “Su,” an unglazed color that highlights the texture and expression of the clay; “Shiro,” a white color inspired by kamakura snow caves; and “Sakura,” a soothing pale pink that cats are fond of. We use glazes with superior coloring made especially for use with kawara. Along with improvements to this glaze, we repeatedly make adjustments to the colorings and other elements to achieve a better match with the shape of the Kawara Neko. The onishis’ careful craftsmanship, the high-quality natural materials, and the durability and hygienic properties uniquely particular to kawara, combined with a design exquisitely suited for interior use earned us a great reputation with increasingly high expectations at Japan’s biggest pet-related exhibition.

Transcending the kawara industry in our endeavor
to apply kawara techniques in different fields
while communicating their original benefits.

――除了「瓦貓」之外,也有開發出貓咪圖樣瓦片、肉球造型瓦片等產品呢。在寵物用品業界,這項來自傳統產業的獨特計畫備受注目。亦透過與藝術家的合作,追求更進一步的創新進化。 ――You’re also developing new products based on these Kawara Neko, such as kawara with a cat icon and in paw shapes. Coming from a unique, traditional industry, these products are attracting a lot of attention in the pet industry. On top of that, your collaborations with artists exhibits a new direction in your evolution.

托大家的福,「瓦猫」獲得各式傳媒的介紹報導,我們也透過某人的介紹,有緣和一流創作者倉科昌高先生合作。倉科先生是一位為各式立體物品繪製客製化彩繪的藝術家。例如知名音樂家的吉他、MTB登山自行車手的安全帽,甚至是室內家飾、建築。有幸讓這麼厲害的人,為「瓦猫」設計彩繪,我們真的非常高興。一想到我們的傳統工藝能與獨一無二的藝術融合,更堅定我們想向全世界展現日本優秀工匠精神的決心了。今後,「Kawara Collaboration」將會繼續與活躍於不同領域的藝術家們,一同打造前所未有的屋瓦設計,為屋瓦創造全新的價值。我們也將跨出屋瓦產業,在各種領域活用製瓦技術不斷挑戰,持續宣揚傳統黏土瓦的優點。 We’re fortunate to have had Kawara Neko been featured in various different media, and someone introduced me to Mr. Masataka Kurashina, a leading creator. Mr. Kurashina is an artist who custom paints all sorts of three-dimensional objects to order, from famous musicians’ guitars and mountain bike racers’ helmets to interiors and architecture. I was truly thrilled to hear that such an individual would paint our Kawara Neko. This further increased my desire to show the world Japan’s superior craftsmanship, create in the fusion of one-of-a-kind art and our traditional techniques. In the future, I hope to continue with our “Kawara Collaboration,” working with artists active in a variety of fields, coming up with unprecedented kawara designs, and create value with new kawara. We also aim to transcend the kawara industry, ceaselessly taking on the challenge of applying kawara techniques in different fields, while at the same time communicating the original good points of kawara.


瓦猫 - 素焼き

瓦貓—素燒Kawara Neko—Suyaki (Unglazed)

未使用釉藥燒製而成,充分體現三州瓦原有的質地。 Unglazed finish brings out the texture of the base material.

材質:黏土  重量:15kg
Material: Kawara roof tile clay
Weight: 15 kg
Size: 600 mm (diameter) x 250 mm (height)

瓦猫 - しろ

瓦貓—白Kawara Neko—White

以雪屋為形象,使用白色的釉藥上色燒製而成。 White glaze produces the look of a kamakura compacted snow hut.

材質:黏土  重量:15kg
Material: Kawara roof tile clay
Weight: 15 kg
Size: 600 mm (diameter) x 250 mm (height)

瓦猫 - さくら

瓦貓—櫻Kawara Neko—Sakura

以日本櫻花為形象,以櫻花色釉藥上色燒製而成。 Pale pink-colored glaze finish inspired by Japanese cherry blossoms.

材質:黏土  重量:15kg
Material: Kawara roof tile clay
Weight: 15 kg
Size: 600 mm (diameter) x 250 mm (height)


*瓦貓是使用與三州瓦同樣的天然黏土,經過職人巧手精心燒製的陶器。商品可能出現顏色不均勻或凹凸等現象,都是燒製陶器獨有的特徵。 * Kawara Neko is an earthenware product made by skilled artisans from the same natural clay used for Sansyu kawara tiles.
Variations in color, surface unevenness, and other properties of earthenware may be visible, but these are in fact characteristic of ceramics.

What are these “Kawara Neko” created by the 100-year-old company Sansyu Noyasu?

三州瓦製造商三州野安株式會社,使用江戶時代傳承至今的傳統燒製技術所製造的貓窩。 靈感來自在屋瓦上舒適熟睡的貓咪。
Based on the principle “Because cats love Kawara, right?”, Sansyu Noyasu Co., Ltd., a 100-year-old Sansyu kawara manufacturer established in 1913, created a cat house called “Kawara Neko,” crafted from the same traditional Sansyu tile-making techniques that have been in use since the Edo period.
It was inspired by the sight of a cat sleeping comfortably on top of kawara.
“Kawara Neko” combines traditional techniques with innovative ideas to provide a comfortable space for cats around the world.

江戶時代傳承至今的 傳統三州瓦Sansyu kawara tradition maintained since the Edo period

The Sansyu Mikawa region’s Takahama City is Japan’s biggest roof tile production area.
Located at the Yahagi River delta, the company maintains the traditional techniques carried on since the old days of Edo.

百年企業 三州野安株式會社A 100-year-old company
Sansyu Noyasu Co., Ltd.

專注製作屋瓦一百年。三州野安製造的三州瓦用於日本全國的城、神社佛寺與住宅等建築物,持續守護日本的建築物超過一世紀。 100 years of dedication to manufacturing kawara—a century of helping protect Japanese buildings as a manufacturer of Sansyu kawara used in castles, temples, shrines, and houses throughout Japan.

素材堅持選用 三河的優質土壤High-quality Mikawa clay
Uncompromising insistence on the best materials.

為了能讓愛貓住得長久,「瓦貓」使用製造堅固三州瓦的三河優質黏土,由三州瓦工匠精心製作。 We want cats to be able use their houses for many years, so they are made by dedicated craftsmen using the same high-quality Mikawa clay as that used in sturdy Sansyu kawara.

源自於鬼瓦工匠的 精巧手藝Born from the skilled handiwork of Oni-kawara artisans

「瓦貓」出自於細心雕刻一塊塊鬼瓦的工匠手中。精巧手藝,造就獨一無二的逸品。 “Kawara Neko” are handcrafted by artisans who work on each Oni-kawara (decorative ridge-end roof tile) individually, one at a time. Each tile is a unique masterpiece of exacting handwork.

堅持全程日本製造Commitment to “Made in Japan”

從黏土原料、鬼瓦工匠的手工藝,再到1200度的高溫燒製,所有工序都在高濱市內完成。 These houses are 100% Takahama-made, from the clay material itself, to the oni-kawara artisans’ handiwork, to the firing at the high temperature of 1200 degrees.

可以水洗的陶器 衛生有保障Hygienic—earthenware can be cleaned with water

三州瓦是陶器,不是布類或紙類,所以特別便於維持環境衛生。 The houses are made from the material for Sansyu kawara rather than cloth or paper, providing a hygienic space as only ceramic materials can.

夏涼冬暖Cool in summer, warm in winter

「瓦貓」的基礎——三州瓦的特徵是絕佳的隔熱性、耐熱性和耐寒性,保護日本家屋度過溫差顯著的四季。 “Kawara Neko” are based on Sansyu kawara, whose characteristics include superior heat insulation and resistance to heat and cold, thus helping to protect Japanese houses from severe conditions in any season.

經過考究設計 貓咪喜愛的環境Designed to make cats happy

貓咪最喜歡黑暗安靜的空間。鬼瓦工匠手工切出一塊塊的窗口撒入的光線,也能安撫貓咪。 Cats love dark and quiet spaces. The windows of these houses are cut out by hand by oni-kawara craftsmen, and your cat will find the light coming in most soothing.

任貓咪磨爪 也不會損傷Invulnerable to cats’ claws

考慮到貓咪有磨爪的習慣,陶製「瓦貓」的特徵是耐用又堅固,任貓咪磨爪也不會留下爪痕。 Knowing cats’ habit of sharpening their claws, we make “Kawara Neko” with extremely durable clay that is invulnerable to claw marks, a characteristic that symbolizes strength.

天然土壤製成 能夠回收再利用Made of clay—reusable and recyclable

「瓦貓」是由黏土揉捏並燒製而成,源自於土壤,能回歸大地,是非常環保的商品。 Made from wedged and fired clay, Kawara Neko is an environmentally friendly product that can be returned to the Earth, precisely because it is made of earth.