JAPAN TRADITIONAL CRAFT AOYAMA SQUARE
Western Honshu, Shikoku > OKAYAMA
Bizen is one of Japan's six oldest kilns with a history going back some 1,000 years to the Heian era (794-1185), when these wares were already in production.
At the end of the Muromachi era (1392-1573), the rustic, undecorated qualities of these wares was particularly popular among tea ceremony aficionados, resulting in the production of many tea bowls and other tea ceremony implements. Bizen Yaki became more widely known, with the protection from the local clan, in the mid-18th century. Bizen Wares have thrived ever since, and a number of Bizen potters including Kanashige Toyo, Fujiwara Kei and Yamamoto Toshu were officially recognized as Living National Treasures in the early Showa era (1926-1989).
Bizen Wares have many attributes. Their natural look and warmth are expressive of the earth from which they are created. Bizen Wares can be used in many ways. The delicate flavors of sake are not lost when stored in a Bizen flask, and flowers in a Bizen vase last three times longer, while water stored in one remains fresh for longer. But what is really special about Bizen Yaki is the happy accidents which occur during firing. In a sense they are “natural art,” as no two pieces of Bizen Yaki are the same. The accidents that occur during firing often produce unexpected changes in color and textural effects on the surface.