“Tojiki” is the collective name for Japanese ceramics. “Toki” or pottery refers to wares made from clay, while “jiki” refers to wares made from powdered ceramic stone. Pottery is usually thick and heavy, with a soft, coarase texture and an opaque quality. Porcelain is thin and light, translucent, with a hard texture and a more refined image. Wares with a quality intermediate between these two are called “sekki” or stoneware.
History of ceramics
In the 5th century, pottery techniques such as use of the potter’s wheel and anagama kilns were imported from the Korean peninsula. In the Muromachi period (1336-1573), the rise in popularity of tea ceremonies and glazing techniques led to huge developments in Japanese pottery. During the Edo period (1603-1868), porcelain was made in Japan for the first time in the Arita region (now part of Saga Prefecture).
Various distinctive ceramic wares are now made all over Japan, with items ranging from sake cups, tea cups, tableware, vases, and art objects. The six regions of Bizen, Seto, Tokoname, Echizen, Tanba, and Shigaraki are known as the Six Ancient Kilns of Japan. These kilns have produced wares since the Kamakura period (1185-1333), and they were designated as a Japan Heritage in 2017.
Ceramics designated as Traditional Crafts of Japan
Obori soma ware Mino ware Aizuhongo ware Kutani ware Akazu ware Seto underglazed ware Sanshu onigawara crafts Yokkaichi banko ware Iga ware Echizen ware Shigaraki ware Kyoto/kiyomizu ware Tamba tachikui ware Izushi ware Iwami ware Hagi ware Otani ware Tobe ware Koishiwara ware Agano ware Mikawachi ware Hasami ware Shodai ware Amakusa ware Satsuma ware Tsuboya ware