Tokoname Ware

Tokoname Ware

This form of pottery was born and developed in Tokoname city in Aichi prefecture, and is the most widespread of the six oldest pottery schools in Japan; the others are Seto, Shigaraki, Echizen, Tanba and Bizen. Tokoname ware has an attractive brownish red color that comes to live when the iron-rich clay comes out of the kiln.  The shine of Tokoname ware is also known to get deeper as time goes by.

In the 1,100s, it is said there were more than 3,000 kilns in the Chita peninsula, which holds Tokoname city in its center. These produced rice bowls, plates, large pots, jars and practically anything else you can imagine. These objects were then traded throughout Japan. In the 19th century, Tokoname ware expanded to make industrial ceramic tubes. In the late 19th century, the Industrial Revolution changed the production process, with new machines making possible to mass-produce goods in factories and develop new lines of commercial products such as ceramic pipes, sake bottles, roof tiles and sanitary wares. This resulted in increased productivity and earnings. Tokoname pottery is famously used not only for tableware but also for various building materials, making Tokoname very unique within the traditional pottery industry. In fact, many famous tile manufacturers today also originated in Tokoname.

Tokoname teapot are also very popular, and come highly recommended. Their surface is smooth, and they are most commonly seen in red. Although red is the original and standard color for Tokoname teapots, they also come in different colors such as black, green, brown, yellow and more. These were traditionally fired without glaze; however, glazing and various other firing techniques have been introduced recently. Young artists are particularly eager to design a contemporary style of pottery to fit in with a new modern style of living.  The good news is that the price for a basic Tokoname teapot is around 2,000 yen (approx. $20), quite affordable for such a high quality product.

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