[Kyo-Yaki and Kiyomizu-Yaki]

Kyo-yaki and Kiyomizu-yaki are traditional Kyoto crafts that have developed since the Momoyama period (1573-1600) along with the popularity of the tea ceremony.

"Kiyomizu-yaki" was the generic name for pottery produced at kilns in the Gojozaka area, the approach to Kiyomizu-dera Temple, and "Kyo-yaki" was the generic name for pottery produced in Kyoto, including Awataguchi-yaki and Otowa-yaki. Since the official name "Kyo-yaki and Kiyomizu-yaki" became the official name for traditional crafts designated by the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, all pottery produced in Kyoto is now called "Kyo-yaki and Kiyomizu-yaki."

Unlike other pottery production areas, Kiyomizu-yaki and Kyo-yaki do not have a specific style or technique, but are a fusion of various molding and decorative techniques, such as tebineri, rokuro, kata, tsuke, iroe, sabie, and kochi. This is due to the fact that Kyoto, the capital of Japan, was a city that attracted the finest materials and craftsmen from all over Japan, as well as the presence of shrines, temples, royalty, and aristocrats who supported the culture of the city. The good qualities of the various production areas have been accumulated to create the present-day Kyo-yaki and Kiyomizu-yaki. Kiyomizu-yaki is unique in that it is produced in small quantities and is very rare because most of the processes are carried out by hand. Although there are still more than 300 potteries in Kyoto, the industry is small in scale compared to other famous production centers, and because of the limited amount of items that can be produced, Kyo-yaki and Kiyomizu-yaki may not catch the attention of the public.

Kyoto, as the center of Japan, has long been a huge market for pottery from all over the country. In the Momoyama period (1573-1600), along with the popularity of the tea ceremony, Raku-yaki and various tea ceremony utensils and vessels began to be produced in Kyoto City, and were offered to tea masters, court nobles and court nobles, and lords and temples in various regions. It is said that Raku-yaki, which Chojiro began to produce under the guidance of Sen no Rikyu, a famous tea master who served Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi, marked the beginning of full-fledged Kyoto and Kiyomizu-yaki. In the Edo period (1603-1867), the techniques were refined by master potters such as Nonomura Ninsei and Ogata Kenzan. After Inzan, many kilns went into decline. However, Okuda Eisen, who fired porcelain for the first time in Kyoto, Aoki Mokubei, Kinkodo Kamesuke, the brothers Ninami Douhachi and Ogata Shuhei, and the father and son of Eiraku Hozen and Wazen have left their names in history as master potters of Kyo-yaki and Kiyomizu-yaki in the Edo period. Their works reproduced and applied the techniques and styles of pottery from China, Korea, and Japan, while at the same time showing some individuality of their own, giving birth to a variety of styles and shapes in Kyo-yaki and Kiyomizu-yaki. The techniques and designs were not limited to Kyoto, but spread to Kutani and other parts of Japan.

The Kikkougama kiln in Osaka, which we carry in our store, is one of the kilns that learned pottery from the masters of Kyo-yaki. During the Edo period, Jihei Toda, a native of the Iyo-Ozu domain, went to Kyoto to learn pottery from masters such as Ryonyu IX of the Raku family, Rokubei Kiyomizu I, Dohachi Ninami, and Shusai Asai, and founded Jusoken Shogetsu in Jusomura, Osaka. The name Kikkougama Kiln originated when the 11th shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate was pleased with the turtle's food basket (jikirou) and gave the kiln the name Kikkou, after the turtle's shell, "kikko" (turtle shell). Kikkou-yaki is the only pottery remaining in Osaka today, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston has about 30 pieces in its collection.

Kikkougama's deliciously shaped Broad Bean Chopstick Rest are molded in a unique clay mixture containing a layer of charcoal, baked at 1,000 degrees, and then glazed and colored clay is applied by hand with a brush. The base is made of the same clay and then fired, so the bottom is also colored. Each chopstick rest has different shades and textures, with vivid yet deep colors, and an easy-to-use size and shape with a gentle roundness that gives a sense of stability when chopsticks are placed on it, overflowing with the good qualities of handmade work. They are currently on display in the Sanjo Showroom, so please take a look at them when you visit our store.

Kikkougama's Broad Bean Chopstick Rest
Sanjo Showroom