Created for commoners during the Momoyama period (late 16th century) ”Karatsu-yaki, Tadahiro Nakazato”

Created for commoners during the Momoyama period (late 16th century)
”Karatsu-yaki, Tadahiro Nakazato”

Becoming more beautiful with use

Karatsu-yaki refers to the ceramics which are created in Hizen area, meaning ”tsu” which is shipped to ”Kara (Tang Dynasty, China)”, therefore, by being shipped from Karatsu port all over the country, they started to be called Karatsu-yaki. Their characteristic is the coarse and rough soil texture and gray, earth color called ”surname”(sandy texture), expressing the rustic warmth and strength, which are the charm of Karatsu-yaki. Karatsu-yaki is said to become ”complete with use”, which signifies that Karatsu-yaki is created for use by commoners, and the more it is used, the more the color changes, and with more cracks (the glaze becomes cracked), the more beautiful and tasteful the piece becomes.

Fascinating many people

Tarouemon Nakazato comes from a family of Karatsu potters, and since they became the purveyor potter of the clan in 1615, they have been the most prominent Karatsu potter with nearly 400 year history. The 12th generation Tarouemon, who was recognized as an Important Intangible Cultural Asset Holder, revived the Gato Karatsu-yaki, also creating his own Karatsu-yaki using a new method called ”tataki”. Through all these activities, he is known to have revived the old Karatsu-yaki from the past, especially from the Momoyama period.
The current Tarouemon is Tadahiro Nakazato who is the 14th family head, inheriting the name in March of 2002. He was born as the first son of the 13th Tarouemon. After graduating from the Sculpture Department, Modeling Department of Musashino Art University and its graduate school, he went to study glaze in Tajimi Ceramic Design Institute and National Nagoya Industrial Technology Testing Center. He inherited the techniques passed on in Nakazato ceramic studio, attracting many fans.


Nakazato Tarouemon Tobo (Ceramics Studio)
3-6-29 Machida, Karatsu, Saga Prefecture