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(Sake cups from the back left to the front right : Mino-, Koito-, Tanba-, Seto-, Iga-Yaki)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
One of the biggest ceramics festivals in Japan was held at the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo from January 31 to February 8,2016. We can enjoy national-wide striking pottery and porcelain at one place. Since the event was “Tableware Festival”, almost all the visitors are females who have an interest in tableware for everyday use.
Here were many exhibitions of lacquer-ware which is another Japanese traditional craft products.
This is opportunity for us to meet many potters who have got to know each other.
Satsuma-Yaki is traditional pottery produced in Kagoshima Prefecture. One of the features is wide variety of its style. Genealogy-wide, there are Tateno, Ryumonji and Naechirogawa systems. It is originated by Koreans under Shimazu clan about 400 years ago.
This climbing kiln is preserved as a site of historical kiln of Ryumonji-Yaki. There are two family who are actively producing traditional and unique pottery of Ryumonji-Yaki.
Photo : Old kiln, Jirota-Gama showroom and Samehada (shark skin) sake cup