These are aluminum clothespins ubiquitous in Japan until around the 1970s. The rise of plastics and cheap foreign imports all but wiped them out, but thanks to one company the classic aluminum clothespins are still in production in Tokyo.
The aluminum clothespins are light, and compared to plastic and wooden pins, have a stronger grip and a longer life for outdoor use.
This particular style is called shark because of its sharp, tooth-like edges and a strong grip. The sharks are mainly used in Hokkaido to hang dry kombu (kelp to make dashi) on the beach that is harvested from the sea. They are perfect to use in gardening and other outdoor activities.
Who Makes It
Nanmoku Manufacturing is the only company in Japan that specializes in making aluminum clothespins. The family-owned company has been in business since 1947 in Tokyo and is now headed by the third generation working with the next generation of children.
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