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Some Common Types


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This page is not
comprehensive. It
presents only a
small number of
the most common
glaze types.

Contact us
with your request
to include other
glazes not
shown here.


Abura-age-de. Glaze that looks like deep-fried toufu; found on Ki-Seto ware.

Aka-e. Polychrome overglaze, usually red in tone. This style of overglaze painting was introduced to Japan directly from China, and is used primarily with
porcelains (Imari, Kakiemon, Nabeshima and Kutani).

Ame-yu. Ame means amber and yu means glaze. Ame-yu can be translated as amber (caramel) glaze - it contains iron oxide or manganese oxide with feldspar. Often seen on chawan (tea bowls) and mizusashi (water jars). For more, see
Ohi Ware.

Bidoro. "Vitrified glass" taken from the Portuguese word for glass. Found mainly on
Iga wares. Also sometimes called a tombo no me (or dragonfly's eye).

Celadon. Thick glaze used with
celadon (seiji) ware.

Dobai. Wood-ash glaze.

Goma. "Sesame" colored natural ash glaze from pine ash that fuses and melts on a pot. Some goma are called nagare-goma (flowing goma) or tobi-goma (spotted flying goma). Mainly found on

Go-sai. In
Kutani pottery, the five colors (go-sai) reign supreme: red, blue, yellow, purple and green.

Gosu. Cobalt blue glaze.

Hai-yu Yohen. Ash-glazed ware. See "Yohen" below.

Iro-e. Overglaze enamel. Used often with

Kairagi. Crawling of the glaze - mainly seen on Karatsu and Hagi wares around the kodai (foot).

Kaki-yu. Persimmon colored glaze.

Kinrande. Gold enameled porcelain.

Kuro-yu. Black colored glaze.

Lead Glaze. Transparent glassy glaze using lead oxide.

Multi-color overglaze enamelling. In the 17th century,
Sakaeda Kakiemon perfected a technique for multi-color overglaze enamelling. Family records say Sakaeda Kakiemon made the first overglaze colored enamel porcelain in Japan sometime around 1647.

Shinsha. Red copper glazes. Also called "yuriko."

Shizen-yu. Natural ash glaze.

Tenmoku. Iron glaze, sometimes with oil spots known as yuteki

Tetsu-yu. Iron glaze.

Yohen or Youhen. Natural ash glaze. Literally means "changed by the fire/flame." Yohen refers to changes in the kiln that cause the glaze to run during firing. Sometimes this is called a "hares-fur" effect. Yohen also refers to the build-up of ash on the kiln floor and the natural glazing brought about by this ash, resulting in deep blues, browns, and reds -- often seen on yakishime ware, like

Yuri-kinsai. Underglaze gold decoration porcelain. Designated in the 1950s as a new glazing technique. The main feature is a highly transparent overglaze on gilded porcelain.

Yuriko. Red copper glazes. Also called "shinsha."

Ki-Seto Chawan by Kagami Shukai

Piece by Ohi Toshio


Ko-Kutani (Old Kutani) at Suntory Museum of Art
Go-sai (five colors)

Sometsuke Seto by Kondo Yuzo


Kinrande piece by Ono Jiro

Iro-e Chawan by Shimizu Uichi
Tetsu-yu (Iron)


Piece by Yoshida Minori (Yuri-Kinsai)


Copyright - Robert Yellin Yakimono Gallery

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