We were fortunate for the opportunity to visit Iwachu Ironworks, located in northern Japan's Morioka City, the historical center of the craft of nambu-tekki (cast iron). Finished with a special lacquer known as urushi, these cast iron owls caught our eye for their organic yet stylized appearance and satisfying heft. Each piece is cast by hand by skilled craftsmen that spend years refining their technique. The molds can only be used for a limited period of time before they break down and must be created again—by hand, of course. In the West, owls are traditionally associated with wisdom, but in Japan they are a beloved symbol of good luck, said to bring fortune, health and love.