- The birthplace of porcelain that graces Japan’s dining tables. What is Arita-yaki, which has been loved the ages?
- Making its way to Europe during the Meiji period, Arita-yaki came to fascinate people all around the world and influenced western tableware.
- Discover the history of Arita-yaki in a promotion video that celebrates 400 years since its birth.
- Taking Japan’s traditional industry into the next century, from Saga Prefecture to the world.
The birthplace of porcelain that graces Japan’s dining tables. What is Arita-yaki, which has been loved the ages?
Arita-yaki, a local industry that symbolizes Saga Prefecture, is the genesis of Japan’s porcelain industry. Its luminous whites and the use of bright colors such as indigo, red, and yellow in the delicate decorations painted onto the porcelain ware characterize Arita-yaki. Its history traces back to the start of the 17th century with the discovery of pottery stone (stone rich in clay) in Izumiyama. In 1616, the first porcelain ever to be fired in Japan was fired in this region. Since then, Japanese porcelain has come to be used not only in ordinary households around Japan, but also by the Imperial household.
Making its way to Europe during the Meiji period, Arita-yaki came to fascinate people all around the world and influenced western tableware.
During the Meiji period, international expositions were all the rage throughout Europe. The much-acclaimed Arita-yaki not only caught the eye of people from across the globe, it is also was said to have had an influence on the European tableware brand, Meissen, which was known as “The King of western tableware.” I am sure that all of us have come across an Arita-yaki bowl or vase, or even a piece of the tableware based on Arita-yaki at some time in our lives.
Discover the history of Arita-yaki in a promotion video that celebrates 400 years since its birth.
A promotional video produced to mark the 400-year anniversary since the birth of Arita-yaki has been released. In addition to the scenery of Saga Prefecture and Arita-cho, the video also depicts various Arita-yaki production processes, such as the delicate handicraft involved in painting the ceramic surfaces and the firing of pieces in high-temperature kilns of over 1000 degrees centigrade.
「ARITA EPISODE 1（1616- )」
Taking Japan’s traditional industry into the next century, from Saga Prefecture to the world.
Taking advantage of Arita-yaki’s 400-year anniversary, Saga Prefecture is adopting various new strategies to take this traditional industry into the next century. These strategies include increased development of overseas markets, collaborative projects with domestic and international designers or top chefs, and forming partnerships with fields that extend beyond the realm of porcelain, such as tourism and culture. We can look forward to the increased development of Arita-yaki as one example of Japan’s traditional industries.
Arita-cho, Saga Prefecture, which is still home to numerous pottery kilns, holds large-scale ceramics markets and events celebrating Arita-yaki several times each year. The tenth annual Arita Autumn Porcelain Festival will be held from November 20–24th, 2014. Wood firing and porcelain painting will be viewable at each of the kilns in Arita-cho. For anyone traveling to Saga Prefecture, a visit to Arita is a must.