The History of Arita
Where the first porcelain ware was fired in Japan
Arita is located in the Hizen region, where pottery was produced, mainly in Karatsu, from the end of the 16th century. Pottery techniques were introduced to the area by potters from the Korean peninsula, who were forcibly brought to Japan during the Japanese invasions of Korea (1592-98). Excavations of kiln sites from the time have indicated that the first porcelain ware was fired together with stoneware. The earliest porcelain production was centered around kilns in the western part of Arita. Led by Kanagae Sanbee (Ri Sanpei or Yi Sam-pyeong in Korean) who moved to Arita in 1616, a group of potters from the Korean peninsula produced blue-and-white ware in the Chinese style. This ware, produced from its inception until around 1650, is known as Early Imari Ware.