museum village

Karatsu ceramic wares The first half of the Edo period

Karatsu ware with a long history manufactured following the techniques from the Chinese Continent
Tea masters especially must have greatly appreciated Karatsu ware saying that the first is Raku, the second, Hagi, and the third, Karatsu. Karatsu ware has been made all over the region from western Saga to Nagasaki. The name was given after the port of Karatsu from which its products were exported.
Karatsu is literally the port (tu) over to China (kara). Around the end of the Muromachi period potters came from China and Korea via Tsushima and Iki islands and began to fire glazed wares here. Semi-ground kilns of the stepped multi-chamber style appeared and took the place of the traditional anagama (single-chamber round kiln). Glazed wares using Korean techniques began to be fired at the base of Mt. Kishitake south of Karatsu City, and are called "Ko-Garatsu." The remains of seven Ko-Garatsu kilnsare still to be found.
In 1594 (Bunroku 3) outraged Hideyoshi Toyotomi destroyed the Hata, the lord of the domain, and consequently forced the potters out of the region. This is known as "the Kishitake collapse."


Hideyoshi changed the Japanese history of ceramics drastically because numerous Korean potters were brought to Japan in the Bunroku and Keicho wars waged by him, and which was even named the "yakimono war." It was those Korean potters, said to be about 70 thousand, who brought over the basic techniques of modern Karatsu ware. The kick-wheel (kerokuro) and the multi-chambered vaulted climbing kiln (renboshiki noborigama) handed down by them enabled the mass-production of ceramics, which were shipped from the port of Karatsu to all parts of Japan.

COLUMN Hideyoshi brought the ceramics production in Korea to a temporal stop.

In 1592 (Bunroku 1) and 1597 (Keicho 2) Hideyoshi sent troops to the Korean peninsula. He then took so many potters to Japan that this resulted in a temporal stop of the techniques of white wares (shirotuchi) and Punch'ong ware (funseisaki), ceramic ware decorated with very fine white clay and further coated with translucent glaze in Korea. Punch'ong ware can be said to be the matrix of Karatsu ware because its decoration techniques such as inkamon (stamped), hakeme (brushed), and tetue (underglaze iron brown decoration) are reflected in Karatsu wares as they are now.
In the first half of the 15th century
Owned by the Nagoya Castle Museum in Saga