After Sekigahara war, Mori Terumoto was sent to the western edge of Honshu, Choshu domain, because he was the big dog of the allied forces for Toyotomi shogunate.
At that time, Choshu, current Yamaguchi prefecture where then known as Suo and Nagato, is very poor domain without profitable industry. Mori Terumoto, who is still known as a wise ruler, started a lot of businesses to support people lives. Hagi ware is one of them.
Terumoto first invited Korean artisan brothers and started production of Korean taste tea utensils, then pursued to be loved by tea ceremony artists.
The most clear characteristics we can visually observe is a lot of tiny cracks on their enamel surface. The cracks is called “Kan nyu”, intrusion. This Kan Nyu allows liquid, such as tea and sake, inside the ware penetrate, and the penetration gives the ware its unique mellowness in years of use. This change is called “Nana Bake”, seven changes.
The basic Hagi Ware is pink beige or pale orange, which can enhance the beautiful greenness of Japanese tea. This is another reason tea artists love this pottery even Hagi Ware does not have much decoration.
The only weakness is the soil used to make Hagi Ware. Since the soil is very soft, Hagi Ware absorb liquid well and easy to break. But, the fragility is also the enlightenment for Japanese tea culture.
Hagi Ware was designated as Traditional Craft by METI (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry) in 2002.