Bizen is one of Japan's six ancient kilns, where pottery has been produced for over 1000 years. The area in and around Bizen City where the pottery is made is situated in the Imbe area of Okayama Prefecture.

Descendents of the two original potting families, Kimura and Kaneshige, still work in the area today, although the work has changed over the years. Bizen, along with many of Japan’s most important pottery styles matured during the Momoyama Period (1568 – 1715) when the artistic direction was given by powerful warlords and Zen monks, who were connected with the “Way of Tea” i.e. the Tea Ceremony. However, these tea wares lost their popularity over the years and by the early part of the 20th century very few Bizen potteries remained and the ware they produced was generally of poor quality.

In the early part of the Showa Period (1926 – 1989) there was a revival of Momoyama aesthetics throughout
Japan and in Bizen it was Kaneshige Toyo (1896 – 1967), who lead the way. Before this time he had been an expert in the production of ornamental figures that Bizen had become synonymous with but abandoned this to rediscover and reintroduce the fine tea wares that his ancestors had produced. Kaneshige was made an “Important Intangible Cultural Property”, more commonly known as Living National Treasure in 1956 for these pioneering efforts. These resulted in a large increase in the number of potteries in the area, producing a variety of individual wares that like Bizen ware throughout history is unglazed.


The high quality Bizen clay used for the process is generally fired for many days in wood-fired kilns and it is an understanding of the firing process and how different parts of the kiln react that is of paramount importance.


Please note that potters names are shown with the family name first as is usual in



IDEI Yoshihumi - tokkuri


ISEZAKI Koichiro – Black Bizen vase


ISHIDA Kazuya – boxed guinomi


KIMURA Kozo – boxed handled vase


KISHIMOTO Akihiko - vase


MASAMUNE Satoru – boxed vase


MATSUSHIMA Hiroshi – boxed handled vase


OSAWA Tsuneo - tokkuri


SAKAKIBARA Kiyoto – boxed summer chawan


TAKENAKA Kenji – boxed Oribe style yunomi

YOSHIDA Koichiro - vase



EMA Hiroshi


FUJIWARA YU - tokkuri


HISAMOTO Koichi – boxed wood-fired chawan




HISAMOTO Koichi – boxed chawan


HISAMOTO Koichi – boxed incised chawan


INOUE Takeshi – boxed chawan with hidasuki


ISEZAKI Mitsuru - yunomi


ISSO Koyama II – tall boxed vase


KANESHIGE Tohiro – boxed Sake set


KIDO Akihiko - vase


KINO Fumiharu - vase


KINO Fumiharu – boxed yunomi


KISHIMOTO Akihiko – leaf dish


KISHIMOTO Akihiko - guinomis


KONISHI Toko II - vase







KONISHI Toko II – yunomi


MAESHIMA Goichiro – boxed chawan


MATSUI Tomoyuki – yunomi


MATSUI Tomoyuki – Neriage yunomi


MATSUI Tomoyuki – Neriage and ash yunomi






NAMBA Ryuji – boxed beer mugs




TAKAMIYA Hidetada - vase




YOKOYAMA Naoki – boxed guinomi


YUKINORI Matsukasa – small chawan


YUKINORI Matsukasa – small teabowl


YUKINORI Matsukasa – boxed chawan