Japanese cuisine is highly regarded worldwide for its beauty. This is often attributed not only to the food itself but also to the selection of serving dishes. When served on an elegant plate, home cooking looks even more appetizing. Handmade dishes in which each piece is subtly different in color and shape further heighten the dining experience. In an aesthetic unique to Japan people regularly assimilate nature into their everyday lives; the opposite of beauty being neat and orderly. This Wara White Lotus Serving Plate is handmade and each piece has subtle differences of color and shape. The plate with an inscribed lotus leaf pattern is otherwise plain and enhances the presentation of any dish. It is 20.5cm in diameter and perfect for any occasion. Acquiring a unique handmade plate produced by a small studio is reminiscent of an old Japanese saying, “treasure every meeting, for it will never recur”. Embracing beauty like this will further enrich your life.
Originally Japan had many words to describe the moon according to its changing shape through waxing and waning. They are all elegantly named for the different phases: Shin-getsu (new moon), San-getsu (very fine moon of 2nd day), Mika-zuki (crescent, 3rd day ), Jougen no tsuki (bow shape moon of 7th day), Komochi-zuki (near full moon of 14th day), Tachimachi-zuki ( standing and waiting for the moon to appear, 17th day), Nemachi-zuki (Laying down and waiting for the moon to appear, 19th day), Ariake-zuki (morning moon, 26th day or general name after 16th) and so on.
The Moon Plate created by Mutsuko Shibata is a simple but imposing plate with a beautiful gold drizzled pattern. It has strength in its stillness. With a variety of food and seasonal ingredients available, you can enjoy the rich compliment of the two faces of the plate and food, a luxury in daily life.
You can arrange food to look like a hazy moon, or see a beam from the moon light in the golden drops. Besides being perfect to serve guests, the plate is also a good everyday item.
Large W 27 cm x D 27 cmx H 2.5 cm
Small W 15 cm x D 15 cm x H 2 cm
Iro-Nabeshima (Colored Nabeshima Ceramics) is a kind of Imari-Arita ware. It is characterized by delicate and elaborate pictures with the motifs of Kachofugetsu (flowers, birds, wind, and moon).
The origin of Imari-Arita ware dates back to 1604 (the early Edo period), when a Korean potter, Li Sanpei discovered fine porcelain stone at Mt. Izumi in Arita. Later in the 1640s, the hand-painting techniques were introduced to this region from China, and Imaemon I started to make hand-painted porcelain in Arita.
The kiln of Imaemon I became the feudal property of the Nabeshima domain, where the products solely used for the Nabeshima family and as the gifts to the Shogun or the fellow daimyo were being made. Directly controlled and supported by the Nabeshima family, the porcelain produced at this workshop developed into refined ceramic called Iro-Nabeshima.
In around 1874, when the feudal restrictions were removed after the Meiji restoration, Imaemon X started handle all the production steps, not limited to overglaze painting and established the advanced akae (overglaze painting with red pigment) techniques. Keeping conformity to traditional standards and elegance, Imaemon XIII was eager to create works that fit modern living settings and was designated as a Living National Treasure in 1989. Today, the traditional forms and creativity of an artist living in this modern world is exquisitely blended by the hands of Imaemon XIV.
Hakuji is porcelain created by applying transparent glaze to white paste, then firing it at high temperature. Hakuseiji, on the other hand, is created by glaze containing small amount of iron.
Hakuji originated at the end of the 6th century in China during the Northern Qi Dynasty. Later, in the Tang period, its popularity took off and demand surpassed that of Seiji. By the 10th century, its use became widespread among the populace as it was being improved with a more sophisticated style while maintaining a down-to-earth feel.
Japanese Hakuji evolved under the international influence of China and Korea. In Edo period, Imari-yaki, the first Hakuji in Japan, was introduced. However, Hakuji was mainly used as a white canvas to paint vivid colored motifs. It was not until after Maiji period that Hakuji as self-colored became more popular when Japanese ceramic artists who studied and loved Hakuji from Song period in China and Joseon Dynasty era in Korea further evolved the Hakuji technique.
It is extremely difficult to burn pottery to pure white because iron powder easily comes out even when using the best quality clay. This is why, even for Kakiemon pottery which is famous for its vivid vermilion color motif, Hakuji with no trace of iron powder is more rare and expensive than pieces with painting.
Onta Folk Pottery Festival is held on the 2nd weekend of October every year in the mountain village of Sarayama in Ono Motoemachi, Hita City, Oita Prefecture. Onta pottery is a high-fired ceramic ware made in this area for more than 300 years. It is said that the first kiln was built in 1705 by a potter from the Chikuzen province (present-day Fukuoka Prefecture). Today, the traditional techniques are handed down by ten potters, who are producing practical and simple but very beautiful ceramic ware. The potters in the village were designated as a holder group of a National Important Intangible Cultural Property in 1995.
Onta Folk Pottery Festival is held in appreciation for the development of Onta pottery as well as for the founder, ancestral potters and customers who favors their products. Plates, dishes, tea cups, flower vases and so on are displayed in the garden of each potter’s work place and sold on the spot. A part of their works are displayed at Ono Folk Cultural Museum “Kototoi no Sato.” As people can get Onta ware at the prices much lower than usual, the quiet village of Sarayama, where one can only hear the grinding sounds of the “karausu (a crusher that uses river flow for molding clay),” is bustled with tourist on the festival day.
Shida ware is pottery fired at two kiln places located in so-called Arita Osotoyama secter consisted of Nabeshima Province and Higashiyama and Nishiyama area in Bizen Region, presently a part of Shiota Town in Saga Prefecture. In the early days only ceramic was fired but later in the mid-18th century porcelain made of Amakusa porcelain stone was also started to be fired. Main products were plates with deep-blue patterns on a white background, called sometsuke, in which various motifs of landscape, people, and nature were expressed. After Taisho Era a kilning factory built by Shida Porcelain played a central role in Shida ware production, where a lot of hakeme ceramics and some tsuke porcelains were produced. The factory was closed in 1984 and hasbeen preserved as Shidayaki Museum since then. The building has gotten high evaluation as a historic institution. The museum displays 55 large plates that Tsuji Ichido, a ceramic artist, reproduced Hiroshige’s Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido into 45-centimeter ceramic plates. Spot sale and pottery classes are also provided for the visitors.
Imari-Arita ware is pottery ware produced in the area around Arita-machi, Saga Pref. It is characterized by the thin and light body and elegant patterns. The origin of Imari-Arita ware dates back to 1604 (the early Edo period), when a Korean potter, Li Sanpei discovered fine porcelain stone at Mt. Izumi in Arita. Since then Imari-Arita ware had blossomed and many skills had been developed under the patronage of Nabeshima Clan during the Edo period. A lot of potters came to study the techniques, which made the name of this ware known nationwide. To produce its characteristic blue pattern, the elaborately crafted work is required in each of the processes including underglaze drawing, underglaze painting, glazing, firing, and overglaze painting. At any moment of the process gleams out the aesthetic sense of a master craftsman who carries on the 400 years of tradition.
One of the typical products of Fukui Pref., Echizen ware is known for its
natural surface texture and sound simplicity. This naturalness depends on
spontaneous effect of the firewood ash melting into a ware during the firing
process without glazing. The history dates back to the end of the Heian
period, some 850 years ago, when the first kiln was built on the hillside of
Ozohara (ex-Miyazaki Village), Echizen-machi, Fukui Pref.. The kilns in this
area had long been anonymous, however, after World War II, pottery studiers
including Fujio Koyama called Echizen as one of Japan’s six old kilns,
which made Echizen ware known nationwide. Echizen kilns, maintaining its
tradition of unglazing high-firing technique, have been making various
everyday articles, each of which is not gorgeous but deep-rooted in people’s
daily life. In 1985, Echizen potters effort resulted in the assignation of
the nationally recognized Traditional Craft Product.