Tokoname YakiTokoname Ware

We can sail up until last years of Heian era, and model of Tokoname Yaki which is said to be old Tokoname Yaki is counted in one of Japanese six Old kilns. In the Heian era, we put thing which we wrote sutra of Buddhism and buried in the underground, and scripture mound pot (kyozukatsubo) to pray for benefit was made.
Tea ceremony and flower arrangement article were made mainly in Muromachi, the Azuchimomoyama era, and bit until the middle of Edo era, and, in addition, container of living was main product to tea ceremony and flower arrangement article from last years in the Edo era.
And, from the Meiji era, sanitary ware, tile, flowerpots such as drainpipe, washbowl or toilet were produced flourishingly, too. The history of change of main production product only in production center blessed with high quality potter's clay is connected by richness for wide product constitution of the present.

Pieces representing the beginnings of Tokoname Yaki were made at the end of the Heian period (794-1185) and it is now counted among Japan's six old kilns. During the Heian period, Kyozuka urns were made in which to put Buddhist sutras before burial in the ground as a way of asking favors of the Buddha. During the Muromachi period (1392-1573), the pottery produced mainly tea bowls and other tea ceremony items as well as ikebana flower vases. Jars appeared in the middle of the Edo period (1600-1868) and normal household tableware started to be produced at the end of the Edo period alongside the prized tea ceremony pieces. Sanitary items such as drain-pipes, wash-hand basin and toilets, tiles and plant pots were added to the list of products in the Meiji period (1868-1912). Undoubtedly the vast range of products available today is the result of being a production center with plentiful supplies of good quality clay to hand, and because of the area's ability to change its line of main products in step with demand down through history.

The red coloring which develops as a result of the iron in the clay is a special feature of this ware, and while some of the pieces develop the qualities of the clay to the full, others are glaze. The product line is mainly composed of traditional items including items for tea ceremony use, vases, ornaments, decorative plant pots, bonsai trays, and an assortment of jars and larger pots.

  • Notification

    skills and techniques

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

    When it is to no glaze product except Western hand, do "basis material polish".

    When do design charge account of basis material, engrave, and work out, and "fly, and, combed line, pressing a flower design in intaglio, plane" stick;, "worm-eaten spot hand," is thing by tip of a finger sentence, potter's wheel eyes, burr, engobe, inlay, "model woodcut print" or "malignant smallpox".

    When we grind glaze hook, we are about to dip and are about to paint and blow and are about to repeat and are about to drain, and "itchin" depend again without harou. In this case, glaze has with "shark glaze" and "sea cucumber glaze" "ash opacity glaze".

    Algae cliff or fire dasukio letting you appear nature glaze, "saltglaze" when we improve the groundwork and do none of design charge account of basis material or glaze hook.

    Raw materials

    As for the potter's clay to use, it be said that we have materials which are equal to "Kowa clay" or "shale clay" or these "Itayama clay" "Fuki clay".

    It be said that the head, Kei stone to use for glaze has materials which are equal to "Sanage feldspar" or "Kei Mikawa stone" or these.


  • Work scenery

    Tokoname counted in one of Japanese six old kilns brought about various products in the history of 900 years to date from peaceful last years. From sloppy container for days such as pot and tortoise, plate, bowl, vase, flowerpot to drainpipe and sanitary ware, the products are a great variety of. It was product which was relatively new in Tokoname Yaki which tea set of vermilion mud (thing which gave biscuit ware, unique cinnabar red at high temperature using iron content-rich clay) ran in this early in the Meiji era from last years of Edo era, and came to be made, but it was in one of the ceramic ware which represented Tokoname Yaki afterwards. Here, we introduce process of manufacture of teapot of vermilion mud.

    Process 1: We work out soil

    We perform elutriation (adding suihi, water, and precipitating many times, and picking only small clay of particle) of clay which we gathered and work out well. The feature is that clay of vermilion mud includes a lot of iron content.

    Process 2: It goes down with potter's wheel

    We make form every each part using potter's wheel. At first we make part of trunk of teapot. Thickness is careful to agree. It is in particular part of shelf to put cover on to mind. We make cover and handle, mouth each and dry if each part is completed until it becomes half-dried. We are careful to come to have the same dehydration condition iniga of each part then.

    Video is played when we click image

    Process 3: Finish of each part

    If water evaporates and becomes suitable hardness, we sharpen extra place using spatulas. At this time, we match size of cover with trunk. We sharpen carefully while confirming laying upon many times. In addition, we polish each made part. At this stage, the finish is entirely different whether you polish carefully.

    Process 4: Assembling

    We assemble each completed part. At first we attach tea strainer. We pierce trunk with tool such as compasses in a circle and fit tea strainer. And we attach mouth, handle. When dehydration condition of each part does not maintain the same then, we are not finished well. We judge hardness from longtime perception of craftsman carefully.

    Video is played when we click image

    Process 5: Drying

    We dry teapot which we assembled.

    Process 6: We improve the groundwork

    We polish dried product with cloth and give luster. In this way, by improving many times at each stage of process; peculiar to vermilion mud; is shiny.

    Process 7: Sculpture

    We give carving at this stage before burning. We carve picture and design about history and nature using seal sword carefully.

    Process 8: Burning

    We do with kiln case. We bake at temperature approximately 1,100 degrees for 12-18 hours. Roast color was process to care about very much until there was current kiln which could keep stable temperature by computer control only by temperature of kiln having been different only 10 degrees then to be different at all. We just cool in kiln for one day if baked and take out kiln and do. 20% shrink in comparison with the front to burn, but vivid cinnabar red peculiar to vermilion mud appears.

    Process 9: Inking over, washing in water

    We polish baked product and pour ink into part which we engraved to give texture. Carved pattern appears clearly when we wash off the sumi with water.

    Process 10: Finish

    Finally we rub trunk and cover together elaborately, and teapot of vermilion mud is completed.


  • Close-up

    The skill of Tokoname Yaki, hand twist with the history of 900 years

    Technique of Tokoname Yaki includes three of potter's wheel molding, direct copy molding (add, and go, and there is dumb person), hand twist molding. Of these, also, as for the hand twist molding, it is one that rare Tokoname Yaki features by molding method that karano is the oldest at first that the making of ceramic ware began in in Tokoname even if we see nationwide. We asked Kengo Maekawa who made vase and tortoise with hand twist molding this time about story.


    "Human being potter's wheel"

    Maekawa is craftsman who is good at big game of hand twist. While the person says "human being potter's wheel", but ceramist turns around around stand round and round (it is considerable speed, too!) We roll up string of, big clay and use technique of "Yoriko structure". This technique is rare nationwide, but will be technique only in Tokoname that made big things such as tortoise or pot from old days. It is tairyokugi to be sweaty when we do it for a while at cold workshop.
    It is said that after all it is influence of father who was ceramist that Maekawa came to do hand twist. We saw that father made tortoise with hand twist and were brought up, and oneself came to do hand twist, too.

    Maekawa who makes big container with technique of "Yoriko structure"

    Because we work, avoiding is no use

    Saying is saying "decided that inherit the back from fifth grader."; Maekawa. We help with work of father since primary schoolchild, and it is said that we thought that it seems to be somehow interesting. Because "we work, avoiding is no use. Posture of Maekawa to have to like is unique. It is said that we are not popular when we do not want to do it agrin when we want to do it. According to the words, we did that we wanted to do it from youth. When we graduated from high school, and approximately two years passed after starting help of house, we performed ceramic ware in the Philippines in foreign countries young man cooperation corps for two years to tell. It is career that is unique for craftsman.
    It is said that it is said that we think about thing which we come back and want to make from father by oneself and thought, "by the way, what shall we do?". People of the circumference performed what you can eat if you do it to learn, but it is said that we drain, and Maekawa made ceramic ware by miya pushed by hand including with own way.

    Big vase which was put in step of workshop

    The skill that hand twist has the history of 900 years

    What was settled down to the simplest technique called hand twist was because we died without there being circumstances, and father who wanted qualification of Master of Traditional Crafts being able to take qualification after all. Maekawa is 29-year-old time. When oneself would take qualification of Master of Traditional Crafts, it is said that Maekawa chose that we do hand twist that we got close to to see performance of father since it was small.
    Ceramic ware made with technique of hand twist is daring. There are many big things such as tortoise and brazier, vase, but dark brown and dark reddish-brown to develop to bake at relatively low temperature to characteristic and around 1,150 degrees of Tokoname Yaki which does not build glaze have excellent force and presence. "We want to leave big game of hand twist. When it is why, Maekawa says saying this is because only this way enables, but is completed technique while hand twist is the skill not to change for some time for 900 years either.

    We roll up big string-shape clay and make form of container and fill gap by hand

    Take in new thing

    It is story that we heard from person of association, but image to be easy to become writer seems to be in Tokoname. We accept young person in Institute for ceramic art of city and may lay emphasis on upbringing of successor, and there are many people coming to Tokoname for ceramic art writer from other prefectures. There is gap of consciousness between young people aiming at craftsman generation and artist who have been hammered in saying "show as made by machine even if we make by hand", and it is said that it is not without problem, but is the considerable result because it is said that half settles among people whom approximately 20 come over to in year. It is live-in, and Maekawa seemed to have instructed young person who came, but it is said that there may be stimulation. It takes in new thing while valuing tradition, and it is the history of 900 years of Tokoname Yaki to change.

    Even if brazier which we piled up on the center makes wine cooler and vase, it is very wonderful

    Craftsman profile

    Kengo Maekawa (we cannot long)

    It was born in 1947 (Showa 22).
    After graduation from high school, we come to help with ceramic ware of business. We are good at big game of hand twist that Tokoname Yaki features.

    "Hotness to be shortened when we bake grilled dish, thing which actually swells out want to make. Bread and shade."


    Tokoname Yaki which was used for suikinkutsu


    • Suikinkutsu of the Mino-shi, old Imais house. This was restored using old tortoise of Tokoname Yaki used for the making of Washi Paper not tortoise of Maekawa.




Industrial art object name Tokoname Yaki
Phonetic symbol tokonameyaki
Classification of industrial art object Ceramics
Main product Tea set, vase, ornament, flowerpot, pot, tortoise
Main production area Aichi / Tokoname-shi, Handa-shi, Chita-shi
The designation date June 2, 1976

Contact information

■local production associations

tokoname grill cooperative association
3-8, Sakaemachi, Tokoname-shi, Aichi
TEL: 0569-35-4309
FAX: 0569-34-8893

■Associated exhibit space, facility


The feature becomes that we let iron content included in raw materials develop red. Various products such as products which we made product, glaze (we say we bake) which we made use of soil skin in on are prepared.

The red color that comes from the iron in the clay is a characteristic of this pottery. Items that enhance the character of the clay, glazed products, and other various items can be found.

How to make

By traditional potter's wheel, direct copy, method of the making of form such as hand twist, we produce from big thing to small thing. Because potter's clay becoming raw materials is sticky, and particle is small, we sharpen and we polish and can make form. We produce a lot of products using technique only by such a Tokoname Yaki.

A variety of large and small items are made using techniques ranging from the traditional potter's wheel, to hand forming and casting. The clay used as the base material has a stickiness and the particles are very fine, so it can easily be formed through carving and polishing. In this way, many products are produced using techniques befitting Tokoname yaki.