NIHONMONODiscovering Japan [Nihon] through authentic craftsmanship [Honmono]

Setoyaki like no other ”Ecchu Setoyaki Shorakukama”

Setoyaki like no other
”Ecchu Setoyaki Shorakukama”

Setoyaki in Ecchu

Ecchu Setoyaki refers to ceramics that is made in the Shinseto district. The beginning of Ecchu seto ceramics was when Kaga feudal lord Toshinaga Maeda invited potters from Seto in Owarinokuni (Current Seto, Aichi Prefecture) to create ceramic ware in the late1590’s. Later this became the designated kiln to serve for the imperial family and the number one producers in the district of Ecchu. As this region became known as Seto village, the ceramics made here became known as Ecchu Setoyaki. Ecchu Setoyaki’s main characteristic is to audaciously pour various colored glaze over the ceramics. It is simple yet at the same time refined. The famous ”setoyaki” from Owari that became the origin of the word ”Setomono” meaning chinaware are now mainly porcelain and though is referred to with the same word ”Setoyaki”, Ecchu Setoyaki is different, as they are ceramics.

Continuing Pottery in this land

It is said that there were more than 120 kilns during its prime time, but now there are only four of them left. We visited Shorakukama, one of the four. It was opened in the Meiji Era by Shojiro Shakunaga who had operated a restoration movement for kilns at a time when kilns were being closed one after the other. Yukio Shakunaga explains, ”How can a bowl becomes a tea bowl. The Japanese are innate with a sense to look at a bowl and know if the bowl is adequate as a rice bowl or for tea. We have different ways of viewing things. That is one of the features of our culture.” ”Echhu Setoyaki” has a history of over 400 years. The passionate flames for the making of ceramics burn on.

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Ecchu Setoyaki Shorakukama
Nakanikawagun Toyama