Unique pottery, Tsuboya-Yaki in Okinawa !!

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Tsuboya-Yaki is unique pottery of Okinawa prefecture, the southernmost prefecture. The traditional technique is not different from that of the mainland of Japan but the decorations and colors are uniquely outstanding.
Tsuboya-Yaki is originated in the 17th century, by the former Ryukyu Kingdom under influence of the Satsuma clan. At the time, the Kingdom integrated the local production centers into Tsuboya (current Naha city) to increase roofing tile. This is the reason why Tsuboya-Yaki is being produced at Yachimun (pottery in Okinawa dialect) Dori (street) near a center of Naha for 300years and more.
Due to emitted smoke in firing pottery, Jiro Kinjo, a living national treasure moved to Yomitan-son, the center area of the mainland of Okinawa in 1972. Then, many potters followed and developed a new pottery village, Yachimun No Sato (village). Here are Yomitan Tsuboya-Yaki and Yomitanzan-Yaki now.
Photos : Yachimun Dori guide map, typical Tsuboya-Yaki shop, A climbing kiln at Yachimun No Sato

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Amazing display of Hina Dolls !

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March 3rd is Hina Matsuri, or the Doll’s Festival for girls. We display a set of dolls and pray for the sound growth of girls in the family.
Our Konosu-City is famous for a major Hina-dolls’ production center from the Edo Shogunate period. About 1,830 dolls are displayed on the 31 Hina-dan ( or stairs) in a pyramid, which is 7m (about 23 ft) high at this time of the year. It is amazing display!!

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The last ceramics exhibition at Nagoya Dome !

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The last Yakimono (Ceramics) exhibition, Dome Yakimono World for 2016 was held at Nagoya Dome the last month. Many visitors enjoyed interesting Yakimono of all kinds displayed by potters attended all over the Japan. We were not exception. This kind of exhibition is quite convenience to encounter new potters and their works in addition to meeting many acquainted potters.
After the event, we feel that the year is fast drawing to a close.

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Miyagi Kura (storehouse) Ceramic Festival !

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Many ceramic work festivals are held all over Japan all the year around. They are very joyful especially for pottery and porcelain lovers.
Here is “Miyagi Kura (storehouse) Ceramic Festival” held at Murata-town, Miyagi Prefecture October 14th to 16th . Potters from the northern mainland (Tohoku and Kanto) display and sell their proud works at the unused merchant storehouses, which were built in the end of Edo era. We can enjoy striking works and chats with potters under the nostalgic atmosphere.

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Summer Festival in Kumagaya !!

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In the summer, there are historical festivals at many places in Japan. Kumagaya close to my place is not exception. It is called as “Uchiwa (fan) mature (festival)” because many stores and companys here give their originally fans away to audience attending the festival. Historically, it dates back to the 18th century to celebrate Kumagaya Yasaka Shrine which is a subordinate shrine of the Yasaka Shrine in Kyoto.
We enjoy the 12 floats decorated with ornaments and flowers and dolls and loaded with people (Children in many cases) beating drums and other instruments.

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National Yakimono (ceramics) Fair in Miyagi !

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The 5th National Yakimono (ceramics) Fair in Miyagi was held at Sendai from July 14, to July 18, 2016. National-wide potters were gathered together and displayed their proud products. This is a good opportunity for Tohoku (the north prefecture of Japan mainland) people to see and buy unfamiliar products.
One Banko-Yaki potter displayed pottery sake-ware used for a reception at the last Ise-Shima summit meeting. Bajyohai or sake cup with a long foot (stem) was beautifully decorated with platinum and gold.
In addition to ceramics products, other Japanese craft works such as japan products (laccuerware), casting ironware, hand-made paper were displayed.

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Karatsu-Yaki full of variety !!

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One of the famed pottery is Karatsu-Yaki in Kyushu area. On the end of 16th century, many Korean potters came over to Japan, which was epoch-making event for development of Japanese pottery and porcelain. Karatsu-Yaki was not exception in this case. There are many unique decoration styles, Chosen (Korean) Karatsu, E (Picture) Karatsu, Madara (Spotted) Karatsu, Dakatsu(Snake skin) Karatsu, Mishima(Inlayed decoration) and so on.
Tea ceremony was another factor to develop Karatsu-Yaki technology- and production-wise. In the world of tea, it was said that preferable tea bowl would be “Ichi Raku (No.1 was Kyo-Yaki), Ni Hagi (No.2 was Hagi-Yaki) and San Karatsu (No.3 was Karatsu-Yaki).
We can enjoy other traditional culture like the Karatsu Kunchi Festival and sight-seeing spots like the Karatsu castle in additon to the pottery in Karatsu city.

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Echizen-Yaki pottery and bamboo dolls !!

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Echizen-Yaki is one of the well-known potteries in Japan. The three-days pottery festival was held with 60 potters participated on the end of May. Many visitors enjoyed the festival to see and to bargain about their favorite pottery products.
This area is famous for Take Ningyo, or bamboo dolls as well. The tourists can see sophisticated bamboo craft and its producing process at the Echizen Take Ningyo no Yakata (or center). They can buy bamboo dolls here as the matter of course.

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