The following styles are presented herein:
- Agano Ware
- Irabo Ware
- Neriage (Marble Ware)
- Sansai (Nara Sansai Three-Color Ware)
- Takatori Ware
Agano Ware. Ceramic style produced in the Fukuchiyama area of Kyushu (Fukuoka Prefecture). The Agano kilns date back to 1602, when Korean potter Sonkai was invited to establish a kiln for Lord Hosokawa Tadaoki. The kiln's output was highly focused on wares for the tea ceremony, and thus Agano ware is typically glazed and characterized by a simple lightness and beauty. Lord Hosokawa was instructed in the tea ceremony by the great tea master Sen no Rikyu, and the wares of his kilns soon found favor with Kobori Enshu, another famous tea master of that period. Agano ware today is no longer exclusively related to the tea ceremony. See also "Takatori." Photo - plate by unknown artist.
A stoneware of Korean origin that was introduced to Japan sometime in the 16th and 17th centuries, and was admired largely for its use in the tea ceremony. The name Irabo was derived from the Japanese "ira-ira," meaning annoyed or irritable. This referred to the rough surface texture of Irabo tea bowls, itself a reflection of the clay, sand mix, and thin glazing typical of the style. Photo. Chawan by Korean potter DONG-GYU SEO
Neriage (Marbled Ware)
Matsui Kosei (1927 - ) was named a Living National Treasure in 1993 for his neriage work. Other neriage potters of note are Matsui's son, Matsui Koyo, and fifth-generation potter Ito Sekisui of the Sekisui Kiln in Niigata. Neriage is a painstaking, labor-intensive style, and works take a long time to complete. A potter places layers of different-colored clays together to form sandwich-like layers, then carefully carves and slices the stack into the designs and shapes s/he has mapped out. Since the process is so time-consuming, very few potters take it on. PHOTO: Multi-colored marbled ware by Matsui Kosei
Sansai. Three-color ware
Originated in China or Korea around the 8th century,
and introduced to Japan during the Nara Era
(710 - 794). It is thus known as Nara Sansai in Japan. But in the Heian Period (794 - 1192 A.D.) the sansai style declines in popularity as other glazes (green glaze, ash glaze) gain the favor of Japan's upper classes. Top Photo: Courtesy of Suntory Museum of Art. Bottom Photo, piece by Living National Treasure Kato Takuo.
Takatori Ware. Ceramic style made in Chikuzen area in Kyushu (Fukuoka Prefecture). Takatori pottery traces its roots to Korean potters who were brought back to Japan after Hideyoshi's invasions at the end of the 16th century. Lord Nagamasa Kuroda established the first kiln in 1600 at the foot of Mt. Takatori. Pal San, a Korean potter, was later know as Hassan and subsequently adopted the name Takatori.
Takatori is one of the famous seven kilns of Edo-Period tea master Kobori Enshu, and is renowned for its chadogu (tea utensils). See also "Agano." PHOTOS: Top - Late Meiji Period Chawan, Unknown Artist. Bottom - Rare Ido-style (deep well style) by 13th generation potter Takatori Hasen (1935 - )