Kyoto Ware

The origin and history

Since after the capital was transferred to Kyoto in 794, The main crafts produced in Kyoto and the suburban area were Sueki-ware (type of unglazed earthenware) and Ryokuyutoki ware (type of green-glazed earthenware). From the last part of the Muromachi period through the Azuchi-Momoyama period (the 16th century), along with the prevalence of tea ceremony, as well as many original potteries, such as Raku-yaki (Raku-earthenware) especially for tea ceremony, became popular among the aristocracy and the samurai class within the capital. In The Edo Period (the 17th-19th century), due to the great potter Nonomura Ninsei's work characterized by its gorgeous style, the base of Kyoto ware ( Kyo-yaki, Kiyomizu-yaki) was established. Later other remarkable potters such as Ogata Kenzanm, Aoki Mokubei, Okuda Eisen, Knkodou Kisuke, Ninnami Douhachi played important roles in the development of Kyoto ware.

Some of them went down to other districts such as Kanazawa (Kutani-yaki) and Hyogo (Minpei-yaki) made a great contribution to the development of the local ceramic industry.

Since the clay cannot be easily found in Kyoto, potters had to transport clays from other regions and blend in their original ways to make potteries. As Kyoto was the producing area, as well as the biggest market, potters in Kyoto improved their skills and aesthetics based on the requirements and criticisms from masters of tea ceremony, aristocracies, samurai class and wealthy townspeople. Such spirits still have been encouraging potters in Kyoto. As the result Kyoto ware (Kyo-yaki, Kiyomizu-yaki) have been evaluated fine quality with its delicate and charm sensibility, and the great variety.


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