Kasama ware is pottery made from the viscous, fine-grained clay of Kasama (in Ibaraki Prefecture). This clay comes from iron-rich granite, and turns into a dark reddish brown after firing, so it is commonly decorated with white glaze and painted over with various designs. It is known for its thin and light quality.
Kasama ware originated during the middle of the Edo period (1603-1868), when the head of Hakoda Village (now part of Kasama City) invited master potters from Shigaraki (in present day Shiga Prefecture) to build a kiln. Initially, everyday items such as jugs and mortars were produced. Due to its proximity to Edo (now Tokyo), various tableware eventually came to be produced in mass. The number of potters and workshops also increased, establishing Kasama's reputation as a pottery-producing region.
In recent years, many Kasama potters have shifted from producing coarse kitchenware to artistic crafts. This free style of crafting in Kasama has led to the production of a wide variety of items, from everyday kitchen utensils to highly artistic vases and tea bowls.
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