Amakusa TojikiAmakusa Pottery and Porcelain

In Imperial demesne Amakusa, person of village headman of each village of Shimauchi demanded way of self-support of villager from the Sue work, and porcelain and earthenware were baked from the middle in the Edo early days.
Particularly superior clay for chinaware was Ceylon moss flowed out, and porcelain of grilled Uchida Sarayama was always baked in the Enpo era (1673 ...) year, and after that porcelain was baked in potteries such as high broiled. Flat roast of water founds earthenware in flat (existing Hondo-shi) of Amakusa-gun mainland village water in 1765 (Meiwa 2), and earthenware which overflowed is succeeded to by modern sense for day.

In the old fief of Amakusa on the island of Kyushu, the village headmen encouraged the people throughout the fief to try and support themselves by making pottery and from the early 17th century and on into the 18th century, both pottery and porcelain were being produced in the province.
It was here that some fine porcelain stone was to be found and even before the 1670s Uchida Sarayama porcelain was being produced and was later followed by porcelain from such principal kilns as the one making Takahama yaki. Toward the end of the 18th century we see the establishment of such wares as the Mizunodaira style of pottery based in the village of Mizunodaira, which is now the city of Hondo The making of such wares has continued over the years and they now occupy a place in today's market as everyday pieces of pottery with a contemporary feel.

From a technical point of view the local clay shrinks very little during firing, has a good plasticity and contains just the right amount of alkali, making it ideal for both the making of porcelain and the production of glazes. The porcelain produced is either a pure white with a transparent quality, or possesses a warmth derived from the use of isu wood ash (Distylium racemosum). A particular feature of the pottery is the vast range of highly individualistic pieces being produced using a black glaze, while other pieces are a deep red, resulting from an overlaying of glazes.

Amakusa Tojiki is fashioned into a vast range of tableware and other household items serving contemporary needs.

  • Notification

    skills and techniques

    Mix womb soil by elutriation.

    Molding is thing by the next technique or technique.

    Thing by potter's wheel molding, tatara molding, molding made with string, direct copy molding or hand twist molding.

    Drain bag which sharpen, and does molding finish and wet wiping finish of the whole surface of basis material to have property that is equal to case by molding that others, basis material by molding method to publish in (1) raise in (1) when is to porcelain; thing by molding or "drain two folds molding."

    When do design charge account of basis material, engobe, inlay, fine striped pattern, itchin, chamfering stick, and carve, and thin, thing by combed line or the texture.

    When do china-painting with underglaze color, line drawing, tab stand; is hadaminiyorukoto again. In this case, paint assumes "asbolite paint" or "china-painting with ferrous pigment tool".

    "itchin hangs" "hang ladle" or "two folds hang" "is about to paint" to glaze hook "blow" "is about to drain" "is about to dip"; niyorukoto. In this case, glaze has with "straw ash glaze" or "iron glaze" "tree ash glaze" "transparent glaze".

    When do overglazing, line drawing, tab stand; is hadaminiyorukoto again. In this case, paint assumes "sum paint" or "gold and silver colored picture tool".

    Raw materials

    It be said that potter's clay to use has materials which are equal to Amakusa Shimauchi clay or these.

    When it is to porcelain, use Amakusa clay for chinaware.

  • Work scenery

    Both earthenware and porcelain are produced using potter's clay and clay for chinaware to produce in hometown in Amakusa.
    We introduce porcelain nodekirumadeogo here.

    Process 1: Elutriation (suihi)

    We crush Amakusa clay for chinaware which we mined finely and, in addition, we stir and move water to sedimantation tank.
    We sink pebble and sand in sedimantation tank at bottom and wield part which became muddy water and move to different cistern while removing iron content through jotetsuki. "Elutriation" (suihi) means this work.

    Process 2: Dewatering

    We can enter clay pot or gypsum bowl and leave soil sample (barbotine) which precipitated at the bottom of the cistern which we poured muddy water of jotetsugo into unattended until moisture disappears moderately, and it is into a clay form.

    Process 3: Wild kneading on fire

    We work out soil sample which became clay with foot and let air in clay and fix in uniform hardness.

    Process 4: Lay

    We keep clay in humid cool and dark space and let you mature. We raise viscosity by letting you mature by organic bacteria and make formability better.

    Process 5: Chrysanthemum kneading on fire

    We remove air included in clay carefully and finally adjust to hardness that matched work and preference of author to make

    Process 6: Molding

    We make form of product with completed clay.
    We invest potter's wheel in molding and make form, and we stretch out clay into a board form, and, "potter's wheel molding," there is technique such as "hand twist molding" to make form only with hand without "direct copy molding" that "making of string molding" to make form using clay that "tatara molding" to make form for the cause did the board into a string form pushes clay to model of earthenware and gypsum and makes form and pattern using tool.

    Process 7: Basis material finish

    While dough which we molded in various technique is half-dried, we put on potter's wheel and give hill or lateral cut processing. About thing of model finish, we perform processing to smooth off the surface by finish and wet wiping of joint in addition then.

    Process 8: Decoration

    We make decoration on dough product which we finished of basis material finish as needed.
    Technique of decoration diverges into many branches, and there are the following things.
    ・Engobe, pasting up
    ・Inlay, carving
    ・Fine striped pattern, watermarks
    ・itchin, combed line
    ・Chamfering, the texture

    Process 9: Drying, unglazing

    We let you naturally dry dough product that finish and decoration were over indoors.
    Depending on shape and decoration, we may keep until state is stable.
    We dry in transference perfection outdoors indoors when we dry to some extent. We may let you do drying by heating then.
    If drying is completed, we burn at temperature about 900 degrees Celsius.

    Process 10: China-painting with underglaze color

    To dough which performed bare roast, we describe picture and Fumi in asbolite paint and china-painting with ferrous pigment means.

    Process 11: Glaze compounding

    Glazes include transparent glaze, iron glaze, straw ash glaze, ash glaze and mix original glaze by each kiln. We use thing to produce as much as possible in hometown for raw materials then.

    Process 12: Glaze hook

    After the unglazing, we hang glaze to product which we attached sketch to as needed. "Two folds hang" "we are about to paint" to glaze hook "we blow" "we are about to drain" "we are about to dip", and there is nadono technique.

    Process 13: We pile up kilns

    We put work which we finished of glaze hook in the kiln.
    We make shelf with shelf board and prop and display works in the meantime. When we put work on shelf board, we spread "Hama" and senbei-formed thing to call and prevent work from attaching to shelf board even if emergency glaze gives liquid.
    We put work in the saggar (sheath) and, depending on kiln, prevent accumulation, damage by contact of fall of ash or other encrustations and fuel firewood.
    With work, we put small sample called "Shikimi" in the kiln.

    Process 14: Burning (this roast)

    We burn at temperature about 1,300 degrees Celsius for 15-18 hours. Depending on work, we may burn more than 18 hours.
    Of "reduction burning" to make air a little small when give temperature to "oxidation burning" to let burning method takes in air enough, and completely burn fuel and around 1,000 degrees Celsius, and to do in incomplete combustion state is greatly divided into two.
    We ascertain state in flame and kiln from observation window and draw "Shikimi" on horizontal bars if glaze melts and see state of glaze.
    After having kept temperature moderate for a certain period of time until burning advances, we close fuel hole with brick and cool kiln. For cold way of kiln, there are "slow cooling" lowering temperature slowly and "quenching" to suddenly lower temperature.
    We remove brick which closed mouth of kiln when temperature of kiln reaches around 100 degrees Celsius and carry out work of kiln.

    Process 15: Overglazing

    On the white porcelain device which performed this roast, we paint with paint for dyed figure on cloth. At first we outline by thin writing brush and put color in the outline by slightly a bit big writing brush.
    Using writing brush of average thickness, there is technique that "there be and stand" painting at a stretch without outlining.

    Process 16: Overglazing burning

    We put work which we finished of painting in the kiln and burn at around 800 degrees Celsius for 7-8 hours and print paint for dyed figure on cloth.

    Process 17: Getting out kiln

    We remove brick which closed mouth of kiln when temperature of kiln reaches around 100 degrees Celsius and carry out work of kiln.

    Process 18: Inspection

    We test whether work does not have crack or loss. In the case of set thing, we confirm whether color matches.

    Process 19: Completion



  • Close-up

    With present from the sky as form; and ... Amakusa Tojiki

    Earthenware which feels transparent white porcelain, warmth of soil. A great variety of ceramic ware has been made with Ceylon moss from the Edo era. Those sources are clay for chinaware and potter's clay in place of Ceylon moss. The making of ceramic ware utilized material in own foot is inherited in now after the times of three hundred years, and ten potteries develop the making of ceramic ware unique each now.
    We visited "grilled Maruo kiln" which passed more than 150 years in one of the inside, founding 1845, and continued making ceramic ware with Ceylon moss and watched story to Kazuhiro Kanazawa who was the present head of a household for the fifth generation.


    We cook a certain grilled dish with the times

    Under the clear blue sky, simple building which designed concrete and glass linearly shines. The scene lets you feel the times now than heaviness called the history and tradition.
    As for Kanazawa, "tradition is called accumulation of innovation". We always make thing which there was in the time. It is said that accumulation of such things gave power to survive the times in pottery. We do not follow tradition for Kanazawa and are accumulation of time "now".

    Various types of ceramic ware is made without being particular about material and the manufacturing method including simple white porcelain and chic earthenware, slightly odd colorful earthenware at Kanazawa.
    According to the words of Kanazawa to "always produce being conscious of modernity", anything is only thing matching scenery of the present living well.
    We make both porcelain and earthenware. We are not seized with specific technique and design. Such production-style harks back to reduced drawing made with Ceramics of Amakusa.

    Choice of variety

    Earthenware which lets you feel porcelain, warmth that white porcelain shining like fresh snow, glaze-like like sea cucumber are impressive. If there is porcelain having simple fugo such as earthenware, there is earthenware with presence such as porcelain, too. Different Ceramics of type is burnt each every pottery in Amakusa.
    When grilled dish came to be cooked, Kanazawa says that choice "variety" was accomplished in Amakusa. Pottery of one one made their ceramic ware as we thought not advancing to direction where all potters prepared similar thing into. The result becomes the richness of variety of current Amakusa Tojiki and appears.
    It is clay for chinaware and potter's clay of Amakusa to support the making of various ceramic ware. High quality raw materials as other production centers overlook and use are compared to present from the sky.
    Sincere feeling for heaven-sent luck was loaded words of Kanazawa to "think that "it did ceramic ware", and it was that there was clay for chinaware in Amakusa" with.

    Brand from Amakusa

    Kanazawa is based in place of Ceylon moss and goes through stance to "have buying come here". We felt, "industrial arts adhered with area, and it might be the way that it was right to stand" that was a chance. We thought that there was before life cycle that we bought industrial arts casually and used and bought again if broken.
    We do not get when we do not go on the land not to be able to buy in other land even if there is the popularity so much. Kanazawa is thinking that such a style becomes brand in the future.
    Kanazawa says, "we may become place where "district" which is lot of inherent culture and inherent handwork is rich" in.
    There are 10 potteries in Ceylon moss now. And there are a lot of young people to want to do ceramic ware in Amakusa. There are many people who study at Kanazawa, and leave the nest. It may be branding of area itself called "island, Amakusa of Ceramics" to be seen in such a point.

    Responsibility of the warp

    In Amakusa, there are a lot of potteries as well as "Maruo ware kiln" of Kanazawa having been continued since the Edo era. Climbing over wave of the times many as for the potters to date of kiln continued lighting.
    "There are many people entering the world of ceramic ware in "enthusiasts". But Kanazawa asserts, I do not live on such a dimension flatly. "We like" may become "we do not like", but, in the case of oneself, cannot stop because it was in "we do not like". For people grinding ceramic ware as business, it is said that we mean that it continues "to do ceramic ware" until it hands baton to charges of next.
    Kanazawa tells that it is "weight of its having repeated dai".
    Time when business that continued for a long time is over someday comes. Person whom we made a decision to end takes responsibility for ending business then. People putting the body in the warp called business "is compared with other dai consistently, and die while did so. Kanazawa says, it is harshness of work connecting dai.
    We have not thought that Kanazawa likes work of ceramic ware, but it is said that we have not been going to leave. "After all we would be born." as "ceramic ware shop" Deleterious effects of the war showed bright smile.

    Craftsman profile

    Kazuhiro Kanazawa (kanazawakazuhiro)

    1957 student. We acquire technique by Traditional Craft successor upbringing business of Kumamoto industry examination room from 20 years old.
    In 1980, we make 23 years old and succeed to the present head of a household for the fifth generation of Maruo ware kiln.
    In pursuit of possibility of ceramic ware as daily necessities doing life space more wealthily, we produce work which modern sense is rich in. Miwako of wife is playing an active part as fair sex ceramist, too.
    Many young ceramists leave Maruo ware kiln inside and outside Kumamoto.


    Stone which lays white porcelain

    Transparent feel of a material and brightness peculiar to white porcelain. The beauty is dripped by clay for chinaware. There are few places called clay for chinaware production center now in Japan. Quality, quantity surpass Amakusa together while we did so. Clay for chinaware of Amakusa is used at ceramic ware production center of all over Japan as well as Arida and Kyoto.
    The property delicately varies in person even if we say clay for chinaware to die. If there is much iron content in clay for chinaware, porcelain does not become clear white color. In addition, there are molding and thing which cannot burn when we do not add other material including clay to clay for chinaware.
    Because clay for chinaware of Amakusa has little iron content in clay for chinaware and independent can make porcelain without adding other material, we can make whiter porcelain.
    Stone which lays porcelain attracting people in translucent innocence. It is Amakusa clay for chinaware.



Industrial art object name Amakusa Tojiki
Phonetic symbol Indulgently sugar soon
Classification of industrial art object Ceramics
Main product Tea set, vase, tableware, accessories
Main production area Kumamoto / Hondo-shi, Kamiamakusa-shi, Amakusa-gun five sum town, Reihoku-machi, Amakusamachi
The designation date March 17, 2003

Contact information

■local production associations

Amakusa ceramics promotion meeting
554-1, Uchida, Reihoku-machi, Amakusa-gun, Kumamoto
The Kiyama clay for chinaware mining industry place
TEL: 0969-35-0222
FAX: 0969-35-0358

■Associated exhibit space, facility


Shrinkage degree at the time of burning is small, and Amakusa clay for chinaware is plastic and contains moderate alkali and is clay for chinaware which is ideal as raw materials of glaze as raw materials of porcelain. It is translucent snow-white porcelain and a certain warmth porcelain using hahasohai. As for the earthenware, it features doubleness of glaze that we hang, and there are many individual products using earthenware of red sea cucumber by technique and black glaze.

Amakusa pottery stones are ideal raw material for porcelains as they have less shrinkage while baking, more plasticity and moderate alkaline. The stones are used to make clear white porcelains or glazed with distylium ash for warmer touch. Unique products such as Aka-namako (red sea slug) made by double glazing or products using black glazings are the characteristics of Amakusa wares.

How to make

We mold clay produced in Amakusa clay for chinaware and hometown as raw materials with potter's wheel mainly and give glaze, and earthenware bakes approximately 1,250 degrees Celsius, porcelain at approximately 1,300 degrees Celsius.

Amakusa pottery stone and other local clays are shaped, glazed and then fired by 1,250℃ in case of ceramics and 1,300℃ in case of porcelains.

Voice from production center

Daily necessities-centered porcelain and earthenware, each pottery are characteristic.