Art and craft are equal genres types with equal value in Japan. Hence, ceramics as a traditional art craft with long prehistory enjoy a very high esteem.
Approx. 12,000 years ago one began in Japan with the production of the Jômon ceramics which are to be looked as the oldest ceramics in the history of mankind. “Jômon“ means string pattern. At that time they pressed different string thick in the tone before firing to create patterns around the ceramic. From than Japanese ceramics have developed constantly and were influenced by active exchange with the Asian mainland of new technologies from China and Korea.
The today’s appearance of the Japanese ceramics was characterized in particular by the tea meeting, known today as a teaceremony, in the Japanese Middle Ages (12. -16 cent. ). Out of it according to the region occurred different styles with own characteristics which differ by firing technology and glazing. In Japan these different styles are called “kilns”. There are more than 70 different old traditional kilns in Japan. Some which can be found in our shop, are explained in more detail below.
Today, nevertheless, many potters stand under the influence of global ideas and have thereby developed their own styles which cannot be assigned to any traditional Japanese kilns.
– Shigaraki-yaki (from Shiga)
– Iga-yaki (from Mie)
– Arita-yaki (from Saga)
– Mino-yaki (from Gifu)
Shigaraki-yaki comes from the prefecture Shiga which lies in the east of Kyoto by the lake Biwa.The ceramics reveal themselves inparticular in the white Pegmatit stars in the surface. If the product is burnt more hotly than the usual 1300°C, small craters result. The appearance of Shigaraki-yaki is also called “mitsu no keshiki” (three sceneries) which can be well recognised by the fire colour (salmon to red), traces of a fire and glass melt. Besides, the Shigaraki tone has a very good plasticity and heat resistance by which it can also be used for big vessels, as well as for the popular “tanuki” (lucky charm in the form of a badger) with pleasure in head-high figures. Today due to the varied creation possibilities of the Shigaraki-yaki many potters work all over Japan with it as for example the plate from Ogawa and the bowl from Ogawa. They experiment by new forms and old Shigaraki technologies.
Iga-aki comes from the prefecture Mie south of Shiga. The tones, as well as the technologies are almost identical with Shigaraki-yaki. Nevertheless, traditionally it concerns coarser, heavier ceramic products, typically with moss-green colour and deliberately caused tears. To receive the special effects Iga-yaki are burnt with more than 1500°C at least seven times.Today on account of the very high heat resistance many cooking vessels which are used directly on the fire or cooker, are produced with Iga technologies. So, for example, the rice cooker from our shop.
Arita-yaki comes from the south island Kyûshû from the saga prefecture. Arita was long time the biggest porcelain centre of Japan. In Europe rather famously with the name Imari porcelain. The technologies to the production of porcelain came from China. Arita-yaki distinguished it self original by cobalt blue traditional Chinese Ming Dynastie painting on the withe porcelain. Later the Chinese motives were substituted more and more with Japanese ones and the colour cobalt blue was complemented with iron-red on the white porcelain called “sansai” (three colours). As an other colour combination cobalt blue was combined with iron-red, green, yellow and manga-purple what is called “gosai” (five colours). However, Arita-yaki is to be recognised basically by the cobalt blue paintings on the withe porcelain. Today the traditional patterns are replaced with pleasure with modern colour effects and patterns in the classical cobalt blue on withe.
Mino-yaki comes from the prefecture Gifu. A big area which lies between Kyôtô andTokyo. In these regions originated three independent glazes.
Shino (lemon skin)
thickly applied milky-white glazing with typical formations of holes, looks like the skin of a lemon. For the first time with the Shino-yaki the single object made on the pottery wheel shift in the focuse. Every single piece is a small piece of art in form and structure. Today, hence, the Shino technology is liked very much by ceramic artists. Many new experiments occur with it.
a Smooth clear white glazing with fir-green cooper-glazing in many different highly imaginative forms available.
a sienna-coloured glazing with the typical green spots which arise through the addition of silica.