Obori Soma YakiObori Soma Ware

It is said that Obori Soma Yaki was begun to make in the early period of Edo era (1690). It was in those days in the most big production center in the Tohoku district where more than 100 potteries lined up for last years in the Edo era because Soma feudal clan which ruled the district protected grilled manufacturing, and they brought up.
When it is the Meiji era, numbers decrease little by little because producer turning into other work came out, and 24 potteries continue making grilled dish now. These potters work hard to create new products for the 21st century while following tradition of 300 years.

Indications are that the origins of Obori Soma Yaki go back to toward the end of the 17th century.
Under the patronage and protection of the local Soma clan the kilns flourished and by the middle of the 19th century, there were more than 100 at work, making it the largest production center in the whole of the Tohoku region of northern Japan. With the changes which took place in the commercial sector on entering the Meiji period (1868-1912), the number of working kilns fell and now there are just 24 at work. Fueled by the 300-year-old heritage of ceramics in the area, however, the creative spirit is still alive.

The majority of pieces are glazed with a clear, glasslike celadon glaze, verging on green. Overall crazing is also a common feature, which makes this ware all the more approachable. The source of the celadon glaze is found locally, but it is not the only glaze used. An ash glaze as well as an amber colored one and a white slip glaze are also used. There are now making vases, tea bowls, cups and flasks for sake and other distinctively decorated pieces.

  • Notification

    skills and techniques

    Molding is thing by potter's wheel molding, direct copy molding or hand twist molding.

    When do design charge account of basis material, "go without flower" "doubleness" takes combed line, itchin assortment, aspect, and "sarupo coating" stick, and fly, and or, "tack stop" "mud coating," "chrysanthemum push" wear plane, the texture "the sea surface"; thing due to eyes.

    Is about to dip, and is about to drain or paint with glaze hook; thing by credit. In this case, glaze has with "ash glaze" or "rain glaze" "white style glaze" "celadon porcelain glaze".

    When paint, thing by freehand drawing.

    Raw materials

    It be said that potter's clay to use has materials which are equal to Ohori clay, Kashima clay or these.

    It be said that clay for chinaware to use for celadon porcelain glaze has materials which are equal to Toyama stone or this.

  • Work scenery

    We will see main production process of Obori Soma Yaki.

    Process 1: Molding

    In process of manufacture making earthenware, the most important part is molding. We mainly perform potter's wheel molding with Soma Ohori ware.

    Process 2: We sharpen and finish (we sharpen and are doing)

    Hill sharpens cast of straight thirst depending on product, and we fly, and outside cut decorates planes again.

    Process 3: seijikashoku (kijikashoku)

    There is carving to perform in hanabatsu to perform at the time of half dehydration by the style, mud coating, chrysanthemum push, state that we completely dried again.

    Video is played when we click image

    Process 4: Drying

    As we produce crack at the time of the dry shrinkage when we suddenly perform drying of straight product and are warped, we do for drying in the sun after doing for dry in the shade first.

    Process 5: Unglazing

    We put work which we completely dried in the kiln and burn at 950 degrees from 900 degrees.

    Process 6: China-painting with underglaze color

    We draw pictures such as run piece, the hills and rivers, pine, bamboo, and plum on the surface of unglazing with water absorptivity with writing brush with paint including iron content called asbolite.

    Process 7: For glaze (for medicine)

    We are about to dip and, for mawashi, hang "glaze" by methods such as for sinks.

    Process 8: This roast

    We put work which was over for glaze in the kiln and we bake book at 1,300 degrees from 1,250 degrees and do.

    Process 9: Overglazing

    There is top thing to paint that we just sell product that this roast was over.

    Video is played when we click image

    Process 10: Inking over

    We rub India ink and wipe off with cloth to show "crack me" of completed product clearly and do with finished product.


  • Close-up

    The skill of craftsman filled with piece dynamism to dance to earthenware

    We succeed the history and tradition of 300 remainders year, and Obori Soma Yaki continues up to the present day since smoke of grilled kiln went up to village, Ohori of foot secret kiln of the part of Abukuma acidity in 1690 (Genroku 3). We asked Akitaka Nagahashi of pottery "moon at the fifteenth night of the eighth lunar month kiln" about traditional style and new development.


    Technique of horse and crack to drive fast

    Ohori district of Namie-machi, Futaba-gun, Fukushima that made the Abukuma foot of a mountain back. It is Genroku Era that Obori Soma Yaki was born in this area where flow of the Takase River threading through valley of Abukuma Mountains is rich in. Style of "blue crackleware" (aohibiyaki) which ticked away crack that was particular about representative symbol "run piece" (shrink) of Obori Soma Yaki and elegant celadon porcelain after time was born since it prospered as special product of Soma feudal clan. Nagahashi in late years more and more traditional, to want to be particular whom new item not to get snagged on traditional style is born as.
    Horse "run piece" running powerfully beautifully is drawn on most earthenware. Why did you come to draw this horse? It is said that some legends are in the origin. Festival to represent Soma now to play the splendid God flag contest on horse, Soma horse game in Soma are one. Horse dedicated to the shrine which worshiped Myoken is right distinguished air of Kamakura samurai. Head of a brush of Nagahashi representing running horse is fast, and dynamism dwells by inking over of finish more. It and crazing are done in the whole surface of earthenware like mesh of a net, and "blue crack" becoming like design is technique of grilled Soma known to the whole country. "yapparikoreganaitone" Nagahashi writes picture of horse on paper and hands visitor.

    "Run piece"

    The skill of speed

    Speed to turn potter's wheel is surprised. That there was in the times not to catch up with if we did not make beer beer mug or coffee cup for export in the United States to charges of father in large quantities. Ohori had craftsman who passed 500 a day only to bath. It became the skill of craftsman to make in large quantities. Of "Ohori with the speed of work ceramist asks Japan's most"; Nagahashi. Stone has "will" of nature. Therefore we cannot but learn with body. The sense of speed produces majestic individuality of Obori Soma Yaki.

    Encounter of tradition and new design

    Nagahashi, "thing coming as tradition is really functional" talks about mug of another "two folds of roast" which it came to feature of Obori Soma Yaki to hand. Tea which was able to enter is hard to cool down, and mug that we put two different calibers of size one size and bake, and it is in "doubleness" can have hot hot water in hand firmly even if we can enter. We made use of such a sensitivity, and container of new design in line with life, "natto bowl" were born. Of course "run piece" and "blue crack" are given the surface and show eloquence that it is caliber of Obori Soma Yaki. This "natto bowl" holds pattern with the left hand well and it is stable and can knead natto as hard as possible. This type of container which chopping fine enters at bottom to be able to take down yam is very popular with usability. We are particular about the making of container loved for daily life by invention that increases new function while just insisting on quality of Obori Soma Yaki.

    • Natto bowl

    • "Double roast"

    • Painting of heroic "run piece"

    Relations that were concluded for confidence

    In late years Nagahashi lays emphasis on work to introduce the traditional skill to in events of Traditional Craft of each metropolis and districts. We exchange words with visitor through earthenware directly while demonstrating in venue and we actually touch soil and take container for hand and open pleasure to make. There are various encounters from adult interested in grilled dish to small child there. "Even here moon at the fifteenth night of the eighth lunar month kiln" holds grilled dish lesson and values one encounter once. Nagahashi "is such an activity not one of the important work of Traditional Craft?." Dining table in morning and evening is really rich, and rummaging natto seems to increase fun power if we surround dining table with caliber whom thought of intimate Nagahashi surely reached in good talkers.

    Moon at the fifteenth night of the eighth lunar month kiln

    Craftsman profile

    Akitaka Nagahashi

    We succeed "moon at the fifteenth night of the eighth lunar month kiln" from charges of father at 17 years old and contribute to community improvement as Obori Soma Yaki cooperative association director now.


    Superior design which came out of usability

    "Natto bowl"
    Similarly there are comfort, "natto bowl". That we write down the secret of natto kneading on fire saying "it becomes delicious, that Rosanjin Kitaooji should work out as much as possible back so as to provide natto if we give thread well without being idle." Container has pattern that "natto bowl" grows the body not to make any the contents jumping out moderately and to add pressure and can work out. It is the right pattern for the left pattern, left-handed person for right-handed person. Model falls into figure kneading natto and we provide to provide teaching street, thread of person from Lushan and can work out in this way. Originally what pottery made for homes because there was custom to eat homemade natto on 1st for New Year holidays is opening in this Ohori. Good design that came out of manners and customs. How about to daily necessities of natto kneading on fire?

    • "Natto bowl" with person mouth. Please to dining table as it is



Industrial art object name Obori Soma Yaki
Phonetic symbol oborisomayaki
Classification of industrial art object Ceramics
Main product Tea set, bottle and cup, vase, ashtray
Main production area Fukushima / Namie-machi, Futaba-gun
The designation date February 6, 1978

Contact information

■local production associations

Obori Soma Yaki cooperative association
Ozawa, Nihonmatsu-shi, Fukushima character original 115-25
Forest of ceramic art overcharges, and Nihonmatsu studio is inner
TEL: 0243-24-8812
FAX: 0243-24-8813

■Associated exhibit space, facility


We make earthenware which covered up appearance with transparent glaziness with blue called celadon porcelain glaze mainly. Because crazing covers up the whole container like design, it is called "blue crack", and this crazing design makes work one which it is easy to get close to. Toyama stone which is main raw materials of celadon porcelain glaze is raw material produced only at this production center. Other than celadon porcelain glaze, we use ash glaze (we buy and say), rain glaze (say), white style glaze (do and drift and say).

Obori Soma Yaki is primarily known for producing ceramic pieces coated in a glaze of celedon blue. Another well known characteristic of Obori Soma Yaki pieces is the “Ao-hibi” or cracked blue pattern that covers the works - created by the fine cracks within the surface. The stones used for producing the celedon blue glaze can only be found in the Obori region of Fukushima, Japan. In addition to celedon blue, ash colored glaze, clear glaze and white glaze are also used for the ceramic pieces.

How to make

We use local potter's clay for materials of ceramist. We put this soil in the water and will have muddy water and divide by unnecessary thing that we use as clay. We dry mud which we sorted out and make clay, and knock clay which we kneaded well flat on potter's wheel and it is homemade and makes form. If there is form, we finish and do for dry in the shade and do unglazing at temperature of approximately 950 degrees if we completely dry. We attach picture to thing which finished of unglazing, but picture of horse called "run piece" described then is form of picture only in this production center. We can enter kiln with glaze (say bake) over caliber described painting in once again and we bake at temperature of 1,250-1,280 degree and finish.

Local clay earth is used to make the pottery clay for the pieces. This soil is immersed in water, reduced to mud and then separated into the clay that can be used for pottery and other components that will be discarded. The mud which has been sorted this way is dried and made into pottery clay and the well kneaded clay is shaped on a potter’s wheel. Once the clay is shaped, it is dried in darkness. Once it is completely dry, the piece is fired in a kiln at about 950 degrees. After the clay is fired, a picture is drawn on the surface, and the famous “Hashirikoma” running horse drawings are something that can only be found in Obori ceramic pieces. After the picture is drawn, the surface is covered in glaze and then fired once more in the kiln at between 1,250 to 1,280 degrees to finish the piece.

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