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Hagi Yaki Pottery

If there’s one thing that draws visitors to Yamaguchi Prefecture it’s Hagi yaki pottery. Beginning in a small city in the north of the prefecture over 400 years ago, the subtle earthenware has gone from a local trade to a world renowned classic used in reputable tea ceremonies as well as in everyday use.

  • Hagi Yaki Pottery

    Hagi Yaki Pottery

    Hagi ware, with its natural tones and rustic cracked finish, dates back to the 17th century. The Mori clan brought in skilled potters from Korea to the city of Hagi in the southwest of Honshu island in order to create unique pots for their tea ceremonies. This marked the start of the pottery trade in Hagi which grew rapidly in size when the skill was passed onto other tradesmen. The popularity of Hagi yaki spread throughout the rest of the country and today is a respected name in the pottery world. Potters have been recognised throughout the development of Hagi yaki for their refined skills with both Miwa Kyuwa (1895-1981) and Miwa Jusetsu (1910-2012) awarded the status of Living National Treasure.

    Hagi Yaki Pottery

    Hagi Yaki Pottery

    Hagi Yaki Pottery

    Hagi Yaki Pottery

    Hagi yaki can be made from different types of earth from nearby areas of Mishima Island, Mitake Mountain, and Daido. The process for creating the soft clay used for Hagi yaki is a lengthy one consisting of the addition of wood chips and straining the clay several times until it is a silky texture. The two glazes that tend to be used to create the Hagi yaki style are the transparent biwayu glaze for a natural earthy finish or white Hagi glaze which achieves the trademark white cracked pottery. It is thanks to these cracks that Hagi yaki goes through its seven transformations, or nanabake, in which the pottery changes colour over time as its contents gradually seep into the material.

    Hagi Yaki Pottery

    Hagi Yaki Pottery

    Hagi Yaki Pottery

    Hagi Yaki Pottery

    Though Hagi yaki started as a specialist craft for tea ceremonies, its range has expanded to include everything from traditional tea bowls to coffee cups, plates, and knick knacks. Much of Hagi’s city centre is lined with shops selling a variety of Hagi ware. Senryuzan, a 15-minute walk north from Higashi-Hagi Station, has been in business since 1826 and prides itself on its traditional pieces made using the original technique for Hagi yaki. Just north of Senryuzan, the Hagiyaki Kaikan is the place to try out making your own unique pots to see if you can perfect the soft texture and appearance that the Hagi yaki is known for.

    Hagi Yaki Pottery

    Hagi Yaki Pottery

    Hagi
    Address
    Yamaguchi Pref. Hagishi Tsubaki
    Phone
    Higashihagi
    Address
    Yamaguchi Pref. Hagishi Tsubaki East
    Phone
    Hagi Shokaikan
    Address
    Yamaguchi Pref. Hagishi Tsubaki Higashishinkawa Higashi-ku, 3155
    Phone
    0838259545
    Hagi shokamamoto izuminagareyama
    Address
    Yamaguchi Pref. Hagishi Tsubaki East 4481
    Phone
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