Archives for the day Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

Japanese Unique Pottery; Arita yaki (Porcelain products in Arita,Saga prefecture)

There are many locally manufactured traditional Japanese products that use local materials and natural environment.

Each prefecture has something that are famous/known for and, locally manufactured traditional Japanese products are often times hand crafted products with long history behind it and, its techniques have been passed down from generation to the generation.

In this entry, I would like to introduce one of famous pottery;Arita pottery.

What is Arita pottery?

The Arita pottery is a porcelain products that has been handed down for many generations in Arita,Saga prefecture.

For the product, the local stone called “Touseki” is used. The touseki is the stone that becomes clay.

History behind the Arita yaki…

According to the Japanese tourisum association in Arita area website, in 1616, The shogun Huideyoshi Toyotomi era, Korean pottery was brought to Japan.

The Korean potter “Ri Sampei” found the Kaolin clay in the Izumi mountain in Arita area, and he made the very first fine white porcelain in Japan.

The pottery he made was called “Imari ware” at the time, because it was shipped from the Imari port.

Then, when Imari ware becomes popular, there were 3 styles available.

One was called “Ko Imari” (Early Imari),which vessel was thick with rough design and they only used blue and white.

Later in 1600, these Imari ware was shipped to Europe and it was traded with the same value to the gold in those days.

Another one was called “Kakiemon”,which got thin outline with red or black and it featured the design with red, green,yellow over the milky white background.

The last style is called “Kinrande”(gold painted porcelain),and with this style, you could find lots of red and gold colors to draw floral patterns and it was loved by many Europeans.

You can read more on the history on Arita ware at the Japanese tourism association in Arita website here.

How Arita yaki is made..

To make Arita yaki, here is the step to make them.

1. First, the toseki stone (kaolin stone) is broke into pieces and they will be mixed with water

2. Then, it is kneaded to make the clay

3. Then, clay is put on the potter’s wheel and a shape is created

4. After the pottery is dried, shaped pottery goes into a klin that is very hot; 800-900 degree Celsius and being baked

This step is called “suyaki”

5. After the p;ottery is baked, the draft drawing is done, and the glaze is applied and this pottery goes into the klin again set at the temperature 1,300-1,400 degree Celsius

This step is called “Hon yaki”

6, After that, paint is applied and pottery is going to be baked again at the temperature set at 700-800 degree Celsius

7. Now you have the finished Arita yaki products.

You can see how they are made in the youtube video below.

Arita Yaki (Imari yaki)

If you are a blog subscriber,please click here to watch the video.


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May 07, 2014 | 0 | Japan