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What is Hasami Ware?

by StarkEvan

Hasami ware is a type of Japanese pottery traditionally from Hasami, Nagasaki prefecture. Hasami ware typically incorporates a pure white porcelain and the delicately painted decoration glazed with a blue pigment. Hasami ware is famous for it’s simple designs as well as it’s functionality

The history of Hasami ware

The history can be traced back to more than 400 years since the Imjin War (Japanese invasion of Korea) from 1592 to 1598. Yoshiaki Omura, the feudal lord of Hasami village (now Hasami town), participated in the war. In 1599 Omura Yoshiaki brought Korean potter Yi Sam-Pyeong to Japan after the Japanese invasion of Korea, kilns and pottery centers where constructed in areas such as Yamanita, Hatonohara, Furusaraya, and Hasami. Omura Domain then established a centralized office to manage the manufacturing of Hasami porcelain.

In the mid-17th century, the civil war prevented China from exporting porcelain. That was when the world turned its attention to Japan, and Hasami’s merchandise exports began to climb. Soon, porcelain became famous all over the world.

Perhaps the most popular Hasami ceramic during Japan’s Edo period was the Kurawanka-wan. The origin of the name “kurawanka” can be traced back to the Edo period, when ship-bound merchants on board ‘kurawanka’ ships would approach on the Yodo River and sell them food and alcohol by asking “Mochi kurawanka?” Sake kurawanka? “It means “Won’t you buy some rice cakes?” Wouldn’t you buy some sake? “In the local dialect. Kurawanka bowls were originally used on board these kurawanka ships. At this time, porcelain was considered a luxury, but the kurawanka bowl was mass-produced, so the price was moderate, so it was loved by civilians. The manufacturer had improved and changed the shape of Hasami porcelain so that it can better meet people’s needs at that time. 

Konpura bottle

Konpura bottles were another form of Hasami ceramic that have been produced since the end of the Edo period. They are mainly used to preserve alcohol and soy sauce for export. Initially, these products were transported in wooden barrels, but due to the long time spent at sea, the soy sauce stored in the wooden barrels began to lose its taste, so the craftsmen of Hasami created a special bottle to help keep it fresh .

With the advancement of rail route lines in the Meiji Period (1868 – 1912), it became typicalto ship items by means of trains. Hasami took advantage of this opportunity, utilizing the Arita transporting station to transport items to each corner of the country. Before long, individuals began alluding to porcelain from the Hasami and Arita locales (another celebrated porcelain-creating area) all things considered as “Arita product” (“Arita-Yaki” in Japanese). Be that as it may, around the year 2000, Japan battled with the escalating issue of fake merchandise, requiring stricter confirmation measures in regards to an item’s place of creation. From that point forward, all ceramics from Hasami has been needed to be recognized as “Hasami ware.”

Characteristics of Hasami Ware

Hasami ware is now known for its simple designs and functionality, and has become popular even among young people and creatives. Most forms of pottery have distinct qualities based on where they are made, however Hasami ware does not. It’s even been suggested that Hasami ware’s distinguishing feature is that it lacks distinct traits. Indeed, the ceramics made in Hasami have never been held back by tradition or production process, but have instead evolved and updated over time.

The unique way Hasami ware is made

One unique characteristic of Hasami ware is how it is produced in a town-wide effort. Created primarily in Hasami, Nagasaki, Hasami ware is produced by utilizing a highly efficient method of specialization where every skilled worker handles only one piece of the creation cycle, ensuring top-notch Hasami products can be delivered at an enormous scope. The entire process is broken into four phases: the “kataya” handles the creation of mortar shape, the “kijiya” makes the porcelain dirt, the “kamamoto” fires the porcelain, and the “uwaeya” makes and applies plans to the terminated pieces. It was this division of work, with an expert taking care of every individual advance simultaneously, that empowered Hasami product to be created in high amounts while ensuring a similarly great.

How to use Hasami ware

HASAMI ceramic ware masters each multifunctionality and utility in its style. several of the merchandise area unit versatile in operate like the lids, which might even be used as trays or as plates. In the above picture, we can see how a small hasami ware plate can be used to accentuate the stark design of a Yamanaka lacquer ware piece. This is a great use of the multifunctionality of Hasami ware.

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