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Traditional art and craft Kutaniyaki

Traditional art and craft Kutaniyaki
Kutaniyaki is general term for the pottery made in Minami kaga. Basically, there are two major types of potteries, one is the earthenware made from clay, and the other is the porcelain made from stone. In japan, there are 10 productions area of earthenware, meanwhile, only 5 productions area of porcelain. Among them, the major production area of porcelain is Komatsu, porcelain stone originated in Komatsu’s mountain, today’s Kutaniyaki made from it.
The origin of Kutaniyaki is Ko-Kutani.Porcelain stone originated in Komatsu.
Around 1655, There was once gold mine in Kutani village (today:Kutani,Yamanakaonsen,Kaga), which was located in the Daishoji domain (belonging to the Kaga domain), where very fine pottery stone was found. Daishoji domain established Kutani kilns, and they began to make potteries.
But, the kilns suddenly disappeared around 1730, the reasons for this are still not exactly known. The ceramics fired during this period are now known as “Ko-kutani”, which is highly valued “iroe” pottery worldwide. There are many myths surrounding “Ko-kutani”, which attract people.
Approximately 100 years after the vanishing of Ko-Kutani, Kaga domain opened Kasuga-yama kiln and began to make potteries in Kanazawa to promote industry. Honda Teikichi, potter of Kasuga-yama kiln, discovered fine pottery stone in Hanasaka- village in 1811. (today : Hanasaka-chou, Komatsu). Then, Wakasugi kiln began to product porcelain. The stone is Hanasaka Touseki (pottery stone), which is still used Kutaniyaki.
Later, Many different kilns appeared in Minami kaga, “the revival era of Kutani” began. “Yoshida kiln” tried to “Ko-Kutani” ware, the fine drawing in red of “Miyamoto kiln”, gold highly figured designs of “Eiraku kiln”. Each style of design created, today Kutaniyaki is made by those techniques.
In the Meiji perod, Kutani shouz’s porcelain, which were called“Saisyoku-kinrande”, were exported in large amounts. His porcelain became popular as “Japan Kutani”. His gorgeous designs built a public image of Kutaniyaki to people.
Today Kutaniyaki is made by combine traditional technique with a new twist, and flourishing more than ever before by originality and ingenuity of artists.

Typical style

Ko-Kutani(from 1655)
They were painted in five colors of paint (green, yellow, red, purple, dark blue) .The dynamic style is impressive.
■Mokubei (from 1807)
Approximately 80 years after the decline of the Ko-Kutani, Kasuga-yama kiln was founded by Kaga domain in Kanazawa. Under the guidance of Aoki Mokubei, the writer and painter in Kyoto, those were generally coated on a red base layer and drawn with the five colors.
■Yoshidaya(from 1824)
This style restored the painting style of “Aode-Ko-kutani”. Yoshidaya painted the plate completely using only the 4 colors (yellow, green, dark blue, purple). Its detailed patterns and the complete painting give wares a dignified style.
■Iidaya(from 1831)
Detailed figures drawn in red, fine patterns for the rim and some added golden ornaments are characteristic of this style. This style is so delicately painted.
■Shoza(from 1841)
This style applies all techniques (Ko-kutani, Yoshidaya, Akae, Kinrande) and also uses western material for the paint. It has been main style of Kutaniyaki since the Meiji period.
■Eiraku(from 1865)
They are used the Kyoyaki-kinrande technique by Eiraku Wazen and overglazed gold decoration on a red base layer. This style is a luxuriously coloring and the refined like Kyoyaki style.


The technique overglazing with 5 colors.
The technique of gilding and glazing transparence color.
The technique of putting silver leaf , and glazing transparence color and 5 colors.
The technique of drawing three dimensional picture by the green line.
(other colors: shiro-buchi(white) , Kin-buchi(gold))
The technique of painting a three dimensional picture.
The technique of painting by cobalt and glazing transparence color, finally firing.

All pictures are owned by Komatsu City Museum

Yoshidaya-gama Fukuro-ni-taikoseki-zu plate
(design of deowl)

Ko-kutani Aode-uchiwamon large plate
(design of paper fan)

Wakasugi-gama Sometsuke-chikurin-zu sake bottle
(design of bamboo forest)

Ko-kutani Iroe-sansui-zu plate
(design of natural beauty)

Yoshidaya-gama Kousekikou-Chouryou-zu plate
(design of great persons in history)

Ko-kutani Kiku(chrysanthemum)-zu plate
(design of chrysanthemum)

Wakasugi-gama Gosu-akaeutusi-ryukachou-zu plate
(design of dragon and flower, bird )

Ono-gama Ao-kutani iroe-mon large plate
(design of calligraphy)

Ono-gama Rokkaku-rokkasen-zu sake bottle
(design of poets in history)

Rendaiji- gama Iroe-botan-zu
(design of peony)
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