Amakusa ceramics Photo:Kumamoto Prefectural Traditional Crafts Center

Amakusa ceramics Amakusa tojiki

Ceramics and porcelain overflowing with individuality while retaining tradition
Attractive design also suited to modern living

Description

What is Amakusa ceramics ?

Amakusa Ware is a form of pottery or porcelain baked in the Amakusa region of Kumamoto Prefecture. The name “Amakusa Ware” was newly applied when it was designated as a national traditional handicraft. In Amakusa, which produces good quality Amakusa porcelain stone, ceramics and porcelain have been produced for a long time, and even today the area is known as being a home to earthenware.
The characteristic of Amakusa porcelain is the beauty of its clear white porcelain. On the other hand, pottery using island clay has a characteristic individuality and simple texture. One of the four main potteries, Takahama Ware uses porcelain stone of high purity together with modern-looking, impressive coloring that combines transparent whiteness with the deep indigo blue of asbolite. Uchida-Sarayama Ware is baked not only with white porcelain, but also with celadon porcelain and dyeing. Mizunodaira Ware, which is said to be the origin of sea cucumber glaze, has unique picture patterns and attractive glossiness. Maruo Ware has a characteristically simple texture using red clay collected around the area of Maruogaoka, and various items are baked such as vases and pots, although tableware is the main item produced.

History

Amakusa ceramics - History Photo:Kumamoto Prefecture

There are records showing that Amakusa Ware was already being baked when porcelain stone was discovered in about the year 1650. In Amakusa, which was under direct control of the shogunate in the early and middle parts of the Edo Period, villagers on the island supported themselves by baking ceramics and porcelain.
In Amakusa, where large quantities of quality porcelain stone are produced, ancient documents show that porcelain was being baked in Uchida-Sarayama in 1676. There are also records showing that porcelain production started in Takahama village in 1762. Furthermore, in 1765, Mizunodaira Ware was established in Mizunodaira, Hondo Village (today known as Hondo City) in Amakusa District.
Ceramics and porcelain leveraging various resources were inherited by kilns that are in use today, and in 2003 Amakusa Ware was designated as a national traditional handicraft. Today, there are 11 potteries that continue to produce ceramics and porcelain with various appearances matched to modern living while maintaining tradition.

General Production Process

Where to Buy & More Information

Kumamoto Perfectural Traditional Craft Center

Kumamoto Perfectural Traditional Craft Center Photo:Kumamoto Prefecture

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