What is Kyo-yaki and Kiyomizu-yaki?
Kyo ware and Kiyomizu ware are traditional crafts that have developed along with the popularity of the tea ceremony since the Momoyama period.
Under the guidance of Sen no Rikyu, a famous tea master who served Nobunaga Oda and Hideyoshi Toyotomi, Chojiro began making Raku tea bowls, which is said to be the beginning of authentic Kyoto ware and Kiyomizu ware.
After that, the technique was refined by master craftsmen such as Ninsei Nonomura, Kenzan Ogata, and Mokubei Aoki.
Their successors have inherited the tradition to this day, adapting to the changing lifestyles of the times.
The difference between Kyo-yaki and Kiyomizu-yaki is that the pottery that was fired in the Kiyomizuzaka area on the way to Kiyomizu-dera Temple used to be called “Kiyomizu-yaki.” The term "Kyo-yaki" was used to collectively describe them.
However, with the passage of time, only Kiyomizu-yaki remained, and now it is almost "Kyo-yaki = Kiyomizu-yaki".
～Characteristics of Kyo ware and Kiyomizu ware～
The characteristics of Kyoto ware and Kiyomizu ware are so diverse that they cannot be described in a single word, and there are as many types as there are creators.
There is no fixed technique like Bizen ware or Arita ware.
By combining molding techniques such as hand forming, potter's wheel, and pouring, and decorative techniques such as dyeing, coloring, iron painting, and koshin, each creator continues to create unique original works.
Kyoto used to be a city where pottery production areas all over the country were proud of their skills. There is an idea that if it is recognized in Kyoto, it will be a full-fledged product, and the current Kyo ware and Kiyomizu ware are made up of the good qualities of various production areas.
If I dare to mention the characteristics, it is that most of the process is done by hand, so the amount that can be produced is small and the rarity is high.
Therefore, if you miss the chance to get it, you may not be able to get the same thing again, but you can always meet your favorite vessel that will steal your heart.
At Seikado, we carry a large number of artistic wares that cannot be obtained anywhere else, carefully selected by our professional staff.
And the atmosphere created by the creator's exceptional skill and sense, which cannot be imitated by machines, is reflected in the vessel, which is unique to handmade.
The moment you hold it in your hand, you will feel a special feeling that excites you. By using it for many years, the taste will come out and the memories will be filled and the attachment will grow. I think that such a point is a good point and characteristic of Kyo ware and Kiyomizu ware.
-Declining industry and shortage of successors-
Kyo-yaki and Kiyomizu-yaki are facing major problems as mechanization progresses and cheap imported wares flood the world, resulting in a drop in sales and a lack of successors.
The number of creators and potteries is also decreasing, and skilled techniques are about to die out.
The production value of the pottery industry as a whole was about 50 billion yen in 1990, but now it has fallen to less than half.
If you lack experience, you cannot use advanced techniques, and if you do not have the opportunity to demonstrate your skills, you will not be able to pass on your skills to younger apprentices and successors.
However, in this era of ready-made products, I believe that the time will surely come when each hand-crafted tableware that reflects the passion and taste of the creator will be re-evaluated.
This is because, since there are so many things these days, the pottery itself is not so valuable, but the story that the pottery has and the excitement you feel when you get it and use it.
We believe that our mission is to let as many people as possible know the charm of Kyoto ware and Kiyomizu ware, and to bring happiness not only to our customers, but also to the creators, potters, and everyone involved in Kyo ware and Kiyomizu ware. I'm here.
And we will think and act every day to pass on the traditional crafts of Kyo-yaki and Kiyomizu-yaki, which are advanced craftsmanship, to the next generation.