Iwami ware Photo:Shimane Perfecture

Iwami ware Iwami yaki

Widely used throughout Japan as bottles for storage
Excellent cold resistance, low water absorbency, and resistant to breakage


What is Iwami ware ?

Iwami Ware is a form of pottery produced around Gotsu City in Shimane Prefecture.
The characteristics of Iwami Ware are its strength and low water absorbency, with a surface that is resistant to salt, acid and alkali. Large water jugs known as handou are famous, in addition to many small articles produced for daily use, such as tea utensils and tableware, and their resistance to acid and salt also makes them suitable for the storage of dried plums and pickled leeks.
Iwami Ware uses locally collected, good quality clay that is close to porcelain. In addition to products coated with deep dark reddish-brown kimachi enamel, which contains iron, transparent enamel products using yunotsu stone, which contains alkali components are also popular. Ocher products are made by coating articles with transparent enamel and baking by means of oxidized firing where the flame is completely combusted, while blue products are made when baked through reduction firing with a flame of incomplete combustion.


Iwami Ware is said to have begun when warriors dispatched to the Japanese Invasions of Korea in 1592-1610 returned to Japan, bringing back Riroushi, a Korean potter, who produced pottery in what is today known as Hamada City in Shimane Prefecture and Kakinoki Village in Kanoashi District.
In the place now known as Gotsu City in Shimane Prefecture, authentic porcelain manufacturing was taught in 1765, and the production technology for small ceramics such as katakuchi bowls and tokuri sake bottles was inherited by Rokuro IRI-E, a potter invited from the Iwakuni Domain in Suo Province. The production method of large ceramics such as water jugs is said to have been initiated when potters from Bizen Province visited Gotsu City in Shimane Prefecture in the 1780s (during the Tenmei years).
At the end of the Edo Period, the chief retainer of the Hamada Domain promoted production increase for the ceramics industry, which led to the whole region of Gotsu City in Shimane Prefecture growing into a major base of pottery production centered on water jugs.

General Production Process

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