Some people may think that pottery is formal and to decorate with or appreciate.

This time, we are going to introduce Mashiko ware that will change the universal impression of pottery.

What is Mashiko ware?

Mashiko ware is the pottery produced in the town of Mashiko, Tochigi, and designated as a traditional craft of Japan.

The Mashiko pottery market that has been held since 1966 is very popular as it attracts about 600 thousand people every year.

The reason for this popularity is coming from the characteristics of Mashiko ware.

Features of Mashiko ware

Mashiko ware has a different style from other pottery brands.

Accept diversity

Mashiko ware tends to accept whoever wants to inherit the tradition.

Therefore, many potters come to Mashiko from many places in and out of Japan and integrate their designs into its tradition. This broadens ideas of designs, and as a result, “trendy” tableware to make the table look fancy has been produced lately.

There is of course Japanese teaware available, but English teaware is also produced as well as kyusu teapots and yunomi teacups..

Chubby shape

Mashiko ware looks cute and chubby as it is made thick because the clay to make Mahisko porcelain contains a plenty of bubbles and that’s not suitable for delicate work.

Also, since it is sandy, it feels and looks no-frills.

Fit in any scenes

Mashiko ware tableware is made for daily use, that is why, it goes with any types of table and cuisine.

Although Mashiko ware is authentic Japanese tableware, its simple and trendy design attracts the young generation and the products are used at many places like cafes.

History of Mashiko ware

The history of Mashiko ware is not as long as the others’: It originated in the Edo period.

Mashiko ware had been affected by the eras till present, but it overcame those difficult times while production got to discontinue for periods.

Flourish thanks to the Han domain’s support in the Edo period

It is said that Mashiko ware originated when the potter Otsuka Keisaburo built his pottery in 1853. The Kurohane-Han domain that governed Mashiko supported Mashiko ware, which spreaded out Mashiko ware to Edo.

Facing many crises in the Meiji era

Although the support from the Han domain had ended, Mashiko ware continued to spread out nationwide later. However, when the export of Mashiko ware launched, the pace of production was unable to be kept up, and that caused the degradation of the quality. As a result, those poor quality products took away the trust of Mashiko ware.

Later, the situation improved with the potters’ hard work, the production of Mashiko ware ended up discontinuing temporarily while aluminum and metal tableware and kitchen tools became the mainstream.

Falkcraft movement: from the Taisho era to present

The falkcraft movement occurred to spread the new value and beauty of falkcraft as the new concept that had not been thought before came up: “The beauty of falkcraft is made through human communication in daily life, not designed but naturally made.”

Since one of the bases of the movement was Mashiko, many potters visited Mashiko and ended up working to make Mashiko ware.

And now, there are about 250 potteries and many potters have been producing a variety of works.

January 08, 2023