Fukushima Ceramist | Koishiwara pottery


Koishiwara pottery ware is a traditional item which is made in Toho village, Fukuoka Japan, which is more than 1,000km west from Tokyo. Toho village has been making Koishiwara pottery ware since the early Edo period (1669-). This village was merged from two villages, Koishiwara village and Hoshuyama village in 2005. Moreover, Toho village is a member of “The Association of The Most Beautiful Village in Japan”. They joined in 2012.

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History of Koishiwara pottery


Chikuzen, old naming of the north part of Fukuoka prefecture area, province daimyo (lord) Kuroda Mitsuyuki invaited a potter from Imari, the west part of Saga prefecture, to produce fine porcelains. And Hachinojo a grandson of Takatori Hachizo a founder of Takatori ware that popular around the world as the tool for Tea Ceremony built the foundation of Koishiwara ware (at the beginning they called Nakano ware, because they found the potter’s clay at Nakano area, a part of Koishiwara village). Koishiwara pottery ware became the first designated Japanese traditional crafts by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in the ceramics category in 1975.


Characteristic of Koishiwara pottery


Characteristically, Koishiwara pottery ware has several patterns with unique decorative techniques such as chattering, called “Tobikanna” (when the pottery is on the potters wheel the potter makes a regular ditch like depression using curved metal), brush mark-pattern and comb-pattern. Those geometric patterns give it an earthy and warm feeling. People have loved this pottery for use in daily life since it was established. It is the closest pottery ware to the ideal of “Mingei” which was established by Yanagi Soetsu. “Mingei” is beauty in everyday, ordinary and utilitarian objects created by nameless and unknown craftsmen. Soetsu wrote about this concept in his book “The Unknown Craftsman: A Japanese Insight into Beauty” (Tokyo Kodansha International, 1989). Moreover, Bernard Howell Leach who is regarded as the “Father of British studio pottery” also praised Koishiwara pottery ware as being the perfection of “Mingei” beauty. You may know Onta pottery ware if you are a specialist of Japanese pottery, however, Koishiwara pottery ware is the origin of Onta pottery ware. Koishiwara potters taught the Onta potters to help the pottery industry prosper.


Koishiwara pottery pot -white


Koishiwara pottery pot -brown


Koishiwara pottery pot -dark brown


Koishiwara pottery vase


Koishiwara pottery vase -L- Tobikanna


Koishiwara pottery pot with lid


Koishiwara pottery pot with lid -L


Koishiwara pottery cup -white


Koishiwara pottery cup -light brown


Koishiwara pottery square plate Namako -brown


Koishiwara pottery round dish Tobikanna


Koishiwara pottery round plate Tobikanna


Koishiwara pottery round bowl Tobikanna


Koishiwara pottery curry plate Tobikanna


Koishiwara pottery mug