History of Banko-Yaki Ceramics


The history of Banko-yaki began almost 240 years ago, when Nunami Rosan, a wealthy merchant living in Kuwana-city, constructed a new kiln to promote the tea ceremony in Asahi-city. At that time, Rosan sealed “Banko-fueki” (never changing) on all his works. This seal soon became the symbol of his style, called “Kobanko.”

Mori Yusetsu also started making Banko-yaki about 120 years ago in Asahi-city, but decided to add his own changes to the design, painting his works in brilliant colors. This style became popular and over time spread his business to the city of Yokkaichi and beyond. Mori’s design is now the current style of Banko-yaki, and continues to represent the craftsmanship of the Kuwana region.

Banko-yaki is famous for being very heat-resistance and light weight. Moreover, the Kuwana region makes approximately 80% of the market share of clay stew pots in Japan, in addition to a wide variety of practical ceramic products for home and professional use.

Previosly, Banko-yaki was made our of materials gathered around the city of Yokkaichi, but it is now made of porcelain stone, feldspar and ground clay (50-60% porcelain stone produced in Okayama prefecture, 10-20% feldspar produced in Shiga prefecture, and 20-30% clay produced in Aichi and Gifu prefectures).
The product is cast from combined clay and shaped into pots.
First- firing(Bisque-fire):
The clay pots are then baked at 700℃~800℃, which hardens them enough to apply paint to their surfaces.
:Under glaze-varnishing: (First-:varnishing):
A sketch of the final product is made by brush on the pots after baking, and a coat of varnish is then applied to the surface.
After the first varnish is applied, the pot is washed in a second glaze.
They are then baked at 1100℃~1280℃.
Final varnishing:
Finally, after the design is fully etched on the surfaces, the pots are coated with the last coat of varnish and baked again at 750℃.


What makes Banrai-Nabe so special

It is said that using only soymilk and natural nigari (coagulant) to make tofu is very difficult, even for those who have mastered it. However, we have developed products that make it easy for everyone to make delicious tofu, just by using all the features of Banko-yaki. Its strong heat-resistance is just one of the many features that make this possible.

Another is its unique double-layered structure, developed by Banrai’s own research and testing; this feature allows those at home to steam vegetables, meats, and of course, tofu. Unlike conventional steamers, BANRAI’s patented Double Layered Steaming Method allows the natural convection of heat to travel evenly throughout the pot. The process is simple: First, steam from boiling water in the outer pot circulates around its circumference, from top to bottom. Then, steam travels downwards, allowing the food to be steam-cooked from all sides of the pot. Any excess moisture then rolls down the lid and is collected back into the outer pot – therefore, only a small amount of water is necessary. This method distributes uniform heat all around and perfectly steams the contents of the pot in minimal time, with solid fuel or on a gas stove.

In fact, the creator of the Banrai brand is a manufacturer of tools used to make tofu. As tofu specialists, we strive to do only one thing – to deliver genuine, made-from-scratch tofu to as many people as possible. Our dedication to this goal brought us to introduce Banrai-nabe in 2002.

Enjoy our Banrai tofu. We are confident that anyone can make delicious, healthy tofu at home with our Banrai-nabe pots.


Handmade Banrai Soymilk

Banrai soymilk is made from 100% PURE Japanese soybeans, called fukuyutaka. Compared to other soybeans, fukuyutaka is abundant in protein, and its delicately sweet taste is better than that of other soybeans. The water we use in making our soymilk is also carefully selected. Pure groundwater from Nohbi plain, near Banrai’s birthplace, is used to make Banrai soymilk. Because absolutely no additives are used, we use our proprietary sterilization process to ensure the highest quality of our product.


Benefit of Soymilk

Nowadays, we all know that ailments such as high blood pressure and osteoporosis are related to diet, and that certain foods help prevent them from occurring or reoccurring. It’s no wonder that many of us are searching for ways to eat healthier and maintain a better lifestyle. Did you know that soy could benefit your health? Recently, research has shown that tofu contains naturally derived compounds that help in the following way:

PROTEIN(PEPTIDE) lowers blood cholesterol level and blood pressure/ antioxidants / prevents obesity
LIPID increases good cholesterol/ improves metabolism, memory and concentration
SUGAR increases a bifidobacterium/ protects gastric mucosa
ISOFLAVONE controls cancer cells / eases osteoporosis, menopausal disorders, and intestinal disorders
VITAMIN promotes growth / antioxidants
CALCIUM eases osteoporosis
SAPONIN antioxidant effect / controls cancer cells
TRYPSIN INHIBITOR prevents diabetes
PHYTIC ACID controls cancer cells
ANTHOCYANIN Antioxidants
SOY BEAN removes allergenic protein/ produces allergen-free foods