Wednesday, March 02, 2011


Wednesday and I'm off.

I wanted to show you a beautiful piece of china that one of my friends brought back for me from a trip to the southern island of Japan last week. I think she said this is Arita china.

One way to really enjoy Japan is to take an interest in the different pottery and dishware in different parts of the country. Each area has their own materials and style and history. Some china is very fine porcelain with a smooth finish and delicate artistry. Some pottery is rustic and heavy and leave the beauty to natural inclinations and materials. No matter which kind you like, each area has their own ware that they are proud of.

When I came to Japan as a college exchange student I spent a few months in a prefecture famous for heavy pottery (Gifu and Seto-shi for people who have been here) and I brought home a lot of the everyday dishes and cups that are made there.

I have gone to china factories in Aichi and drooled over the beautiful delicate-as-glassware there.

I have a friend whose husband is a "poverty stricken potter" and they live in the mountains of Iwate and guards his own kilns fiercely, using only clay from the immediate area.

And now I live in a part of Japan very near to a famous pottery town called Mashiko that specializes in rustic, natural ware.

I have a lot of pottery and china in my cupboards and my friend's lovely piece will sit in a prominent displace place and will make tea time very special.

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