Echizen means current Fukui prefecture, and the pottery has been made especially in Miyazaki area and Oda area in Echizen town.
The potteries were first called Oda Ware, and became to be called Echizen Ware after the World War II (1939-1945) when a potter Koyama Fujio designated this traditional art as one of the six oldest kilns in Japan.
The origin dates back to some 850 years ago. At that time, the center of the production was set in Kosohara area, where had very efficient kilns called “Ana gama”, about 13 meters (43 feet) long tunnel-like form to bake large potteries in very high heat, near 1300 degree Celsius. This style became the tradition of Echizen ware.
The characteristics of the production directly affect to the creation.
Ecihzen Ware is, as a result of “Ana gama” kiln, known as large pots, jars, and mortars the heat allows. Also, the heat make the Echizen Ware hard. The grazing is not especially used, however, the heat melt the ashes of firewoods giving potteries natural green grazing and nuanced surface.
The clay is also unique mixture of three kinds of soils, Aoneba, Akabeto, Taiko tsuchi, which are dug from the bottom of rice pond. The texture of Echizen wares are therefore different for the combination of them.
The artizans of Echizen Ware kept creating large pots and small kitchen goods while tea utensils were sold well, and the industry had become endangered in the later Edo era (1603-1867) and the early Meiji era (1868-1912).
In 1970, establishing Echizen Togei Mura (pottery villa) drew many potters from other areas and they started to build kilns for Echizen Ware.
Now many tourists visit there for good quality earthenware to add their lives extra comfort.
Echizen Ware was designated as Traditional Craft by METI (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry) in 1986.