The Mark of Beauty:Arita ware

NHK Educational

Japan's first porcelain was created four hundred years ago in Arita-cho, Saga prefecture. Porcelain made in Arita-cho and the surrounding area is known as Arita ware. Arita ware ceramics are still made today.
Point 1:  Original makers 
In the early days, Arita potters made simple blue-and-white sometsuke pieces.
The sometsuke pieces of the initial period were covered with lots of glaze and were thickly potted.
Point 2: The secret of Kakiemon "white"
The Kakiemon style—in which milky white pottery is decorated with colored overglaze enamels, including red—appeared in the latter half of the 17th century.
Before the development of Kakiemon, porcelain from this region had a slight bluish color. Porcelains made in the Kakiemon style, however, have a soft, warm milky white color. The vivid colors are highlighted against the white background.
The Kakiemon style also strongly influenced the production of European porcelain. Many copies of Kakiemon ceramics were made in Europe, including Kakiemon imitations made at Germany's Meissen kilns.
Kinrande is a technique in which gold is incorporated into the colorful overglaze enamel patterns on white porcelain. Lavishly decorated kinrande-style porcelains began to be manufactured around the end of the 17th century. Many of these were exported.
Point 3: Further techincal refinement and sophistication
Nabeshima ware, which was the finest quality porcelain, was made only for the domestic Japanese market. The Nabeshima clan gathered together top artisans and clustered them in the mountain village of Okawachiyama, so that their production methods would not be disclosed. There they produced ceramics using the most advanced techniques and the highest quality materials.
Nabeshima ware was made first and foremost for presentation to the Tokugawa clan, the family of the shogunate. For this reason, much money and effort went into its production, with no regard for profitability.
The Mark of Beauty : NHK Educational
Credits: Story

Toguri Museum
Kakiemon Kiln
Imaemon Kiln

Music by yuichi FUJISAWA with Hiraku Yamamoto(Nabowa)

Supervised by
Maezaki Shinya, Associate Professor, Kyoto Women's University
M. Rinne, Kyoto National Museum

Produced by NHK Educational Corporation


Credits: All media
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