The Beauty of Five Colors – Kutani Ware (Kutaniyaki) - JAPAN CRAZE Magazine vol.23 -

In Japan, there are many traditional crafts.
In this issue, we would like to introduce Kutani Ware (Kutaniyaki), a type of porcelain that is recognized around the world as “Japan Kutani”.


Features a powerful painting


What is Kutani Ware?

Kutani ware was born in Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture, in the early Edo period (1655).
It is said that porcelain was first produced under the leadership of Maeda Toshiharu, the founder of the Kaga Daishoji Temple domain, who was also known as a tea master.


Characteristics of Kutani Ware

The most distinctive feature of Kutani Ware is its colorful overglaze painting, known as "Kutani Gosai" (five colors of Kutani).
The rich and gorgeous colors of green, yellow, red, purple, and dark blue.
The patterns are pictorial designs, such as landscapes, flowers, and birds, which give a powerful impression to the viewer.

When you look closely, you can see that the overglaze-painted area has slightly bulged. This is a coloring technique in which paint is applied in a thick layer. The surface of the painting is what makes it so appealing.


It also matches Western-style interiors


Kutani Ware as a Brand

Did you know that brands also exist in the world of pottery?

The place where Kutani ware is baked is called “kamamoto” (kilns).
Each place where Kutani ware is baked has its brand value, and there are still kilns in Ishikawa Prefecture, the birthplace of Kutani ware. Sightseeing and staying overnight while touring the kilns are recommended.

I have introduced an overview of Kutaniyaki so far, but in fact, I did not know much about Kutaniyaki.

I first saw Kutani ware when I was a child at my grandparents' house.
I saw a large picture plate in the alcove. That was my first encounter with Kutani ware.
Even at a young age, the richly colored pictures and patterns made me realize that this was an expensive plate.

It can be considered a familiar craft for Japanese people.


A look into the world of Kutani ware


Kutani Ware Has Become Too Famous

Kutani ware has become known throughout the world.
The fame of Kutani ware has also led to the appearance of imitations, which has had an impact on the genuine product.

In order to protect the brand, in January 2007, anti-counterfeiting measures were taken – in which the product will need to acquire a regional collective trademark to prove their products as genuine products.

Furthermore, in 2009, in order to effectively utilize the acquired trademark, two types of trademark seals – gold and silver were established. By separating them by color, we were able to express clear differentiation (difference).

Distributors and consumers can now easily distinguish between genuine and counterfeit products.


Hokusai's masterpiece, also known as "Red Fuji"

In recent years, Hisaya-yaki has been collaborating with animated characters and other never-before-seen products have also been introduced to the world.

Through Kutani ware, we are trying to create a point of contact with a new customer base that is out of our focus until now.

And we feel that the fan and collector base is growing.
Of course, this is because of the classic Hisaya-yaki, which offers a sense of Japanese beauty.

The Corona Disaster is gradually dawning, and Japan is coming alive!

Look for it in j-Grab Mall, the gateway to discoveries.

JAPAN CRAZE Store Manager
Naoko Saito
Japan craze magazine