Aizu-hongo ware

Aizu-hongo ware Aizu hongo yaki

An area famous for producing ceramics and porcelain since a long time ago
Each pottery produces ceramics with a different appearance

Description

What is Aizu-hongo ware ?

Aizu Hongo Ware is a traditional handicraft from Aizu in Fukushima Prefecture, with a history of about 400 years. This pottery, which is thought to have originated during the Sengoku Period, was patronized and promoted by the lord of the Aizu Domain at the beginning of the Edo Period, after which the various potteries commenced independent production due to the breakup of the magistrate’s office. For that reason, each pottery produces articles in its own unique style. Aizu Hongo Ware includes both ceramics and porcelain, and there are potteries specializing in either porcelain or ceramics, as well as potteries producing both.
The characteristic of Aizu Hongo Ware is its various types of decoration, including porcelain dyed with blue paint called asbolite, with other traditional Japanese paints, and with many colors using paints from the West.
Many ceramics for practical use are produced using traditional enamel. There are various styles, such as celadon porcelain, white porcelain and carbonization, as well as a diverse range of finishes (glossy and non-glossy) and textures.

History

Production of Aizu Hongo Ware is said to have originated during the Sengoku Period, when military commander Ujisato GAMO became lord of the Aizu Domain, and roof tile production was commissioned when restructuring what is now Aizuwakamatsu Castle. Thereafter, at the beginning of the Edo Period, Masayuki HOSHINA, the founder of the Aizu-Matsudaira Domain, called potters from Owari to commence full-scale production. The production of ceramics and porcelain grew with support from the Domain. However, the industry would face two difficult periods due to the effects of war. At the time of the Boshin War, potters left to fight in battle and porcelain factories were burned down, temporarily forcing the industry into a state of inactivity. Subsequently, as all of the villages united in their activities, the industry recovered to such an extent that by the middle of the Meiji Period its products were being exported to the West.
In 1916, most of the porcelain factories were yet again destroyed in a large fire, plunging the industry into a difficult predicament, but it recovered magnificently. Aizu Hongo Ware has overcome periods of upheaval, its craft continuing without its long history ever being extinguished, and has become widely known as a form of ceramics and porcelain with simple beauty and excellent ease of use.

General Production Process

Where to Buy & More Information

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