Anagama is the most primitive kiln that has been introduced to Japan in 3rd century. In the case of open burning, the heat of fire escapes into the air. It was made from the idea of keeping the flame in the ground. While it is difficult to keep the temperature in a single room kiln, unique works are often produced.
Arita-ware is produced in Arita region of Saga prefecture. With a 400-year tradition, Arita has the longest history among Japan’s various porcelain-making regions. The origin of Arita-ware dates back to 1616 in the Edo period.
The unique Akae (red glaze) technique was developed in 1640s by Kakiemon kiln, often imitated by Meissen and others. While having an image of thin, delicate looks, it’s actually very durable because of being made out of china stone.
Arita-ware is characterized by fine texture, smooth touch, transparent white porcelain dyed with “Gosu” indigo and vivid red color enamel pigment.
In 1688, a gorgeous brocade style using red and gold was created, and patterns began to be drawn on the entire surface of pottery.
Bizen-ware is produced in Bizen region of Okayama prefecture. It is considered one of the six oldest kilns in Japan still exists today.
It is made by a unique method without using glaze, having a simple impression without luster. By baking in a kiln for a long time, it becomes durable.
Bizen-ware is a ceramic ware developed based on the process of making Sueki. The most widely accepted theory formed as Bizen-ware in the Heian period, started from making bowls and tiles for living products.
In the tea ceremony, the simplicity of Bizen-ware matched well with the spirit of “Wabi-Sabi”, a consciousness to appreciate Japanese aesthetic sensibilities, represents “beauty within simplicity and imperfection”, was deeply attracted by cultural figures.
Kinsai is a decoration technique widely known to be used in Arita-ware or Kutani-ware, which is applied with gold paint or glaze after other basic color painting.
Mikawachi-ware is produced in Sasebo city of Nagasaki prefecture. The distinctive blue dyeing of white porcelain with a pigment called Gosu, and the simple yet eye-catching bright blue Mikawachi-ware has long been regarded as a luxury item.
Mikawachi-ware is characterized by its delicate and dynamic construction carefully crafted by hand using techniques such as “Sukashibori” and “Tebineri”.
During Edo period, the pottery began to be presented to the Edo Bakufu (Japanese feudal government) as a gift. In the latter half of the 17 century, it was exported to overseas countries such as China and Europe, attracting attention both at home and abroad. After the Meiji period, it became popularized among commons.
Mino-ware is produced in Tono region of Gifu prefecture. The production started around the 5th century when Sueki, rokuro and anagama were introduced from the Korean Peninsula.
It has 15 different kinds of style which is designated as traditional crafts. The most famous style is “Oribe-ware”, established by Senno-Rikyu, and created by Oribe Furuta’s aesthetics. The deep color of green glaze, unique shape and geometric pattern decoration attract cultural figures.
“Shino-ware” is considered as an epoch-making style in the history of Japanese pottery because it is painted under glaze. “Kiseto-ware” is popular because of its modest and simple taste.
From the latter half of the 17 century, miscellaneous household goods were widely produced. With the advance of mechanization and expansion of production scale, Mino-ware became the most produced pottery in Japan.
Sometsuke (literally “with dye” in Japanese) refers to the technique of decorating under the glaze with brush-paint in Gosu (cobalt) on the porcelain surface.