JAPAN TRADITIONAL CRAFT AOYAMA SQUARE
Central Honshu - Chubu > Chubu Others
The first porcelain to be produced in the Kutani area was in the 17th century, when a member of the Kaga clan, Goto Saijiro, who had studied the porcelain techniques in Arita in northern Kyushu, set up a kiln making Kokutani wares with a suitable porcelain clay discovered in the area.
While Kokutani or "old Kutani" wares combined the generosity and splendor of the Kaga clan’s culture, it developed into a unique form of porcelain with a strength and boldness all its own. At the end of the 17th century, however, production suddenly ceased. Firing did not begin again until the beginning of the 19th century, when Kutani Yaki was revived. Many different kilns appeared, each with their own unique design style helping to establish a production center. There was the Mokubei style of the Kasugayama kiln, the Yoshida kiln which tried to echo Kokutani wares, the fine drawing in red of the Miyamoto kilns and the red and gold highly-ornate designs of the Eiraku kiln.
The true intrinsic beauty of Kutani comes from its multi-colored over-glaze enamel images. It is characterized by heavy use of overlaid Japanese pigments, namely red, green, yellow, purple and Prussian blue, and bold outlining. The way that the enamels appear even more brilliant because of the restrained coloring of its slightly bluish background is unique to Kutani. Today, different pieces of tableware are made in a number of Kutani styles, along with flower vases, ornaments and beautifully adorned sake flasks.