Shigaraki is a valley in the south of
Shiga Prefecture and became the name of the town made up of 18 villages that lined the Daido river in the valley. In October 2004 Shigaraki was merged with 5 nearby towns to form the new city of Koka. The people of the original villages have been making stoneware pottery for over seven hundred years but there is evidence of tile making in the area during the 8th century. Like Bizen this pottery centre has been acknowledged as one of the “Six Old Kilns in Japan” with the earliest kiln sites dating to the late 13th century when the wares are likely to have been used to meet the needs of local farmers.


The local sandy clay that originates from the bed of Lake Biwa helps to give the pots their warm orange colour and makes them extremely durable. Their irregular shape probably originates in Sue wares and their decoration replies much of the firing process. The firing technique allows air admission into the kiln and this leads to iron oxides within the clay to form a significant part of the colouring process. This free movement of air results from the anagama (or cave) kilns that are used. They are typically constructed on the side of hills and their single chamber has a sloping tunnel shape.  Wood must be constantly added to achieve the high temperature required and this also adds minerals that give the wares their typical richness of surface                                                                                                                                                                              



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


KATO Hajimu – vase


KATO Hajimu - vase


OKUDA Eizan – boxed vase


SHIBATA Takuro – boxed chawan


TANI Seiuemon – boxed cut side vase



FUJIWARA Shunichi chawan


KATO Hajimu – beer vessel


KATO Hajimu - chawan


KATO Hajimu - tokkuri


KATO Hajimu - yunomi


OKA Shiba – boxed tokkuri


OYAMA Takayoshi


SHIBATA Takuro - yunomi


SHIBATA Takuro - chawan


TAKAHASHI Rakusai IV – boxed sake set


TAKAHASHI Shunsai – boxed chawan


TAKAI Chokusai – boxed summer chawan


TANII Hozan - yunomi


TANII Hozan – pair of glazed yunomis