Kutani-Yaki (Kutani ware) :
The history of Kutani ware goes back around 1655 in early stages of the Edo period. Although the kiln of Kutani has been suddenly closed around 1730, a cause is not yet certain. What was burned in the meantime is called Ko-Kutani (old Kutani) after that, and forcible beauty of form peculiar as a representative of a Japanese colorful porcelain is esteemed.
Kasugayama kiln was started by the management of Kaga Han about 80 years after closing of Ko-Kutani kiln in Kanazawa, and it went into the time of revival Kutani. Many kiln, such as "Kasugayama kiln of the Mokubei style", "Yoshidaya kiln which aimed at revival of Ko-Kutani", "Miyamoto kiln of red paint thin drawing", and "Eiraku kiln of gold brocade", appeared, and the wonderful style of painting has been made to each.
After going into Meiji Era, the "coloring gold brocade pattern" of Kutani Shoza became famous, and a lot of Kutani porcelain was exported to overseas. As for today's Kutani porcelain, also compared with before, active production is continued by the origin in the "style of Kamietsuke" of each time.
Kutani (Saiyu-jiki) and Ko-Kutani ("Ko" means old). Colorful overglazed enamel decorative porcelain. Porcelain produced in the Kaga area (Ishikawa Prefecture), beginning sometime in 17th century. In Kutani pottery, the five colors (go-sai) reign supreme: red, blue, yellow, purple and green. The origin of these pigments is in Ming Dynasty Chinese porcelains. Yet Kutani retains its own identity and is purely Japanese in the usage of the pigments. One of today's best Kutani masters is Tokuda Yasokichi III. Tokuda's grandfather, the first Yasokichi (1873-1957), is credited with rediscovering many of Kutani's lost traditional glazes. For that he was made an Intangible Cultural Property by the government. Granddad's work was so skillful that his pieces were hard to distinguish from the Ko-Kutani (Old Kutani) and Yoshidaya styles, the epitome of Kutani up to that point.
Seto-Yaki (Seto ware) :
Pottery made in Seto city and nearby areas of modern Aichi prefecture. The Seto area was the center of pottery manufacture in the Kamakura period; koseto (old seto) designates pieces made at this time. At the end of the Muromachi period the center of the pottery manufacture moved to nearby Mino. At that time, wares made in the area from Seto to Mino were called setoyaki. In the early Edo period, some pottery manufacture moved back to Seto. In 1822, Katou Tamikichi (1722-1824) introduced sometsuke jiki (blue-and-white porcelain) from Arita in modern Saga prefecture, and this porcelain, called shinsei (new production) rather than the original Seto ware pottery, hongyou became standard. In the Meiji period, setoyaki adapted Western techniques, gaining great popularity. In addition to plain
seto, mujiseto the Mino kilns also produced several types of Seto wares from the mid-16th century, including setoguro (black seto), and kiseto (yellow seto). Kiseto,
fired at the same kilns as shino and setoguro wares during the Momoyama period, featured "fried bean-curd" glaze, aburagede developed in emulation of Chinese celadons (Celadon is a term for ceramics denoting both a type of transparent crackle glaze, and a ware of a specific color). It utilizes an iron-rich
wood-ash glaze and is reduction fired at a high temperature to produce a celadon-like texture and bone color; in an oxygen-rich kiln, the minerals in the clay and glaze create a distinctive opaque yellow glaze. Motifs are
etched in the clay, then highlighted in green. Typical shapes, glazes and decoration all reflect functions in the tea ceremony or kaiseki meal. Setoguro wares were made by removing a black-glazed stoneware
vessel directly from a hot kiln at the point of glaze maturation, and allowing it to cool in the open air. The sudden temperature change turned the thick glaze a deep glossy black.
Mino-Yaki (Mino ware) :
A general name for ceramic wares made in the town of Tajimi in
old Mino province (now the south-eastern part of Gifu prefecture).
Sueki ware from the 7c has been discovered in the area, but
Mino was mentioned by name in 905 as a place for fine ash-glazed
stoneware. During the Kamakura and Muromachi periods the use of the
potter's wheel and a greater variety of glazes created more sophisticated
pottery in Chinese-derived styles. During the Momoyama period, when the
tea ceremony stimulated the production of tea wares, many Seto potters
migrated from Owari Province (Aichi prefecture) to Mino to take
advantage of its abundant clay and fuel as well as the patronage of Oda
Nobunaga (1534-82 ), leading to the development of distinctive
stonewares there. Glazed teabowls, based on Chinese prototypes but
adopting Japanese aesthetics,were produced in great numbers. In the late
Momoyama period, the Mino potter Katou Kagenobu reportedly brought
the secrets for producing karatsuyaki
to the Mino kilns, and from the 15c Mino kilns produced Karatsu-style
wares. The noborigama (climbing kiln) was introduced from
Karatsu. At the same time, Mino kilns also made vessels in the style of
igayaki. Mino wares include a range of shinoyaki and setoyaki types, oribeyaki, seiji (celadon), and
ofuke a ware made from senso-tsuchi (iron-rich clay) and
covered with a wood-ash glaze that turns a transparent pale yellow when
fired. White-glazed stonewares first satisfied the demand for Chinese
underglaze-decorated porcelain. Porcelain was produced in Mino from the
end of the 19c. The excavation of Mino ceramics from daimyou
residences throughout Japan testfies to their popularity.
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