The Art of Shigaraki

A brief history of Shigaraki: One of the Six Ancient Kilns of Japan
May 4, 2022
The Art of Shigaraki

One of the Six Ancient Kilns of Japan, we may trace origins of the kilns of Shigaraki and its wares back to the Tenpyo-era (729-749): When the Tenpyo Emperor Shomu first built his Shigaraki Palace, the roof tiles and earthenware pipes were fired for its construction. These earthenware captured the quality of clay. Later in the Kamakura period, various functional pieces such as jars and water containers in Shigaraki were fired for everyday use. When the tea ceremony came in fashion after Muromachi period, tea wares were developed according to the tea people’s taste. The history of clay in the Shigaraki region has been one of functional wares. In its history, there are many styles named after tea masters such as Jo-o Shigaraki, Rikyu Shigaraki, Sotan Shigaraki, Enshu Shigaraki. Diverse objects for daily use such as tea caddies, small jars, tea bowls, hand-warmer pots, and large jars were produced.  As one of the Japan’s Six Ancient kilns, the tradition of beauty and functionality has been polished and succeeded throughout history until today. 


The Father and son potters, Furutani Michio, and Furutani Kazuya succeed this material object heritage. The wood ash-fired wabi-sabi surfacescapes are unmatched. 

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Beatrice Lei Chang

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