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Sabae eyewear facts for kids

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Sabae eyewear
Type Sabae eyewear
Inventor Gozaemon Masunaga
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Manufacturer Japan, Fukui
Available Yes
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Sabae eyewear is produced in Sabae City, one of the world's three largest eyewear production areas. Fukui Prefecture, particularly Fukui City and Sabae City, manufactures high quality frames that account for 95% of all Japanese eyewear frames sold both nationally and internationally. About 4000 people are involved in the local industry, and it takes about half a year to a year to manufacture one pair of eyewear. Sabae eyewear is manufactured with the technology of titanium.

The technology is also used in producing medical and electronic equipment. There are more than 5,000 stores in Japan that sell Sabae eyeglasses, and the average price is 35,000 yen excluding lenses now.

History

Gozaemon Masunaga, the "ancestor of domestic eyeglasses," started  manufacturing eyewear frames in Fukui around 1905. At that time, most people in Sabae were working in the farming industry. Farming was challenging in winter, since the Fukui region experiences a lot of snow.  He started this industry because the eyeglass industry does not depend on the season. He invited craftsmen from Osaka to try to spread the industry  as a side business of a farmer in Fukui. At that time, education and the development of printing technology were spread. So people started to read prints such as newspapers. Because there was such a background, the demand for eyewear has expanded. In 1935, the eyewear industry spread to Sabae and Fukui. The industry succeeded in manufacturing the titanium-based eyewear frames In 1981 for the first time in the world. After that, a large military factory was converted to an eyewear factory after the end of World War II made Sabae’s eyeglasses industry famous.

Process

More than 200 steps are required to complete one eyeglasses frame. However these processes can be devided into 9 processes. 

  1. Design:  In this process, eyewear is designed by craftsmen  using the computer and paper.  They focus on how people who wear the eyewear feel. This is the most important part of the production process
  2. Mold-Making: In this process, a metal is cut very precisely to make the shape of eyewear.
  3. Press:  In this process, the parts which are used to make metal frames are pressed many times by machine
  4. Precision Cutting: In this process, parts are precisely cut in a short time by craftsmen.
  5. Brazing: In this process, parts are bonded, or brazed, at temperatures of 700 degrees or higher.
  6. Polishing: In this process, it is polished by craftsmen to erase damages and make gloss.
  7. Inspection:  In this process, the products are inspected by craftsmen to find defective products again and again for safety.
  8. Surface Treatment: In this process, it is plated gold to prevent corrosion and make its appearance beautiful.
  9. Finishing: In this process, the entire pair of glasses is balanced as a finish work.

https://sabaemegane-inpa.jp/sabaes-glasses/

https://www.megane.gr.jp/museum/about/fukuisabae

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