It is believed that Japanese pottery originated in the thirteenth century when a craftsman named Kato Shirozaemon techniques imported from China. He set up his kiln in Seto in Aichi Prefecture today, and produced the first Chinese-style ceramics in Japan. The term setomono (belonging to Seto), one of the terms designating ceramics in general, comes from this first production.
This art was an important development in the sixteenth century due to the increasing popularity of the tea ceremony. Many workshops were opened throughout the country, but it is specially mentioned the establishment in Arita in Saga Prefecture, the Korean potter Lee Pyong Sam in 1598. Arita porcelain is still today among the most famous in Japan.
Throughout the Edo period (1603 – 1867), many daimyo (feudal lords) potters invited to settle in their land to produce high quality ceramic. This is how a particular art was developed independently of Chinese influence. Japanese ceramics are often described as sophisticated and subtle. Irregular forms are characteristic, showing a sense of naturalism in the creation of man.
There are many workshops in Japan, each with its peculiarities. All styles of traditional ceramics reflect the local environment and history. Many of the furnaces can be visited. Here is a selection of the most famous, from north to south.
Tags: ceramics in general
, Chinese-style ceramics
, environment and history
, Japanese pottery
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