Breathing new life into the traditional techniques of a 400-year-old kiln
Tradition Continues from the "Founder of Mikawachi ware"
Mikawachi ware is a type of porcelain that began to be made in Hizen in the 1600s.
Korean potters brought back by Toyotomi Hideyoshi during the campaign to the Korean Peninsula opened kilns in Nagasaki and Saga, which is said to be the beginning of Hizen ware making.
One of the potters, Koraibaba, discovered good quality clay in Mikawachi, Nagasaki Prefecture in 1622 and opened the kiln.
We at Hirado Shouzan Kiln have inherited the techniques of our ancestor, Korai baba.
In the 1800s, Mikawachi ware was actively exported overseas.
Coffee cups and plates in particular were highly valued by European royalty and aristocracy, and some of them are in the collection of the British Museum under the name "Old Hirado”.
Delicate and graceful blue dyeing on pure white porcelain
Our Mikawachi ware works are mainly painted with "Sometsuke".
The color of the porcelain is pure white.
And we draw in single blue human expressions and the freshness of plants and trees with a very fine brush.
Traditional patterns include Karako, Shonzui, and Karakusa, with Karako being the most representative pattern of Mikawachi ware.
Karako is a picture of a child with a Chinese-style costume and hair.
It means "luxury goods" because goods from mainland China were considered to be of high quality in 1600s.
In traditional Karako picture, the number of Karako was determined by rank.
Seven Karako were painted on items presented to the shogun and the imperial court.
Items for court nobles and feudal lords were painted with five Karako.
while those used by ordinary people were painted with three Karako.
Kenjo Karako is a highly finished piece of pottery that has been made with a great deal of skill and material.
We are trying to keep this tradition alive, and are also challenging ourselves to create lovely Karako to meet the needs of today, and to try new things.
White porcelain ware that has been made for 400 years
I would like to invite you to use the historical white porcelain ware that developed as the official kiln of the Hirado domain and was presented to the Shogun, the Imperial Court, and European royalty.
The karako picture means procreation.
And karakusa picture means growth and relationship.
Seigaiha, a picture of the wide ocean, means the wish that happiness will last forever.
Elephants are sacred animals and are also said to be a symbol of happiness.
It is the practice of prayer that their predecessors honoured and has been passed on to them.
Our creative lovely Karako picture, arranged in a modern style, will bring relaxation to your daily life.
All of these items are perfect for celebratory gifts.
2003 Kyushu , Yamaguchi Ceramic Exhibition, awarded a prize, ‘Flowing Water Bowl’
2013 Certified as a Traditional Craftsman by the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry
2018 Designation of Nagasaki Prefecture Intangible Cultural Asset "Hirado Sometsuke Technique