Kutani porcelain (Kutani-yaki), a National Craft, is one of the popular Japanese porcelain wares.
Its surfaces are covered by bold miniature painting with vivid colors, particularly navy, purple, yellow, green and red.
Its origin can be traced back in 1655, production of porcelain ware started with the discovery of the porcelain stone from the Kutani mine. The production ceased at the end of the 17th century, but the movement of restoring the Kutani porcelain by Kaga Domain (Kaga han) appeared in 1807.
When Maeda Narinaga reigned over the domain, Aoki Mokubei, a renowned potter in Kyoto was brought to revive porcelain production in Kaga area and opened the Kasugayama kiln. After Mokubei, people of Kaga took over his work and opened kilns one after another. As a result, Kutani porcelain became to flourish again, reflecting the richness of ”Kaga” cultures.
As Japan started to export Kutani Porcelain to the foreign countries in early Meiji period (1968-1912), its designs became more various and luxurious with the colors of gold and red by adapting Western cultures.
Kutani Porcelain has evolved its own style of design and technique over time, but it is usually characterized by bold overglazing, detailed brushwork, the use of high-viscosity paint, and its unique but various colors— it is like going against the deep snowbound climate of the winter in Kaga area.
Today the potters produce kinds of Kutani Porcelain wares such as dishes, tea sets, vases, and ornaments.
Imagine if a Kutani Porcelain is on the table or sideboard in your room….Isn’t it nice?
*Kutani Porcelain was designated as Traditional Craft by METI (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry) in 1975.