Producing Raku ware for over 350 years in Kanazawa

Ōhi Chōzaemon
When the founder of the Urasenke style of tea ceremony, Sen Sōshitsu was invited to Kanazawa to preside over a tea gathering for the Kaga Clan in 1666, the first Chōzaemon came with him and established Ōhi-yaki, or Ōhi ware in Kanazawa. He devoted his life to creating this characteristic Kanazawa cultural art form. The 1st Chōzaemon was the top disciple of Raku Ichinyū of Kyoto (4th generation master of the Raku family) and thoroughly understood the principles and techniques of Raku ware. It was recommended that he go to Kanazawa. 
Techniques
Ōhi ware ceramics are formed by hand without using a wheel. A knife or scraper is then used to carving off excess clay. Once the clay is ready to be fired, the piece is glazed and put into the kiln. Then the temperature is increased sharply within a short time, and the piece is taken out to cool down rapidly. 
This production method requires sudden temperature changes, so good clay is essential. The 1st Chōzaemon found the most suitable clay for his wares in the area around the village of Ōhi, which is a suburb of Kanazawa. 
Generations of master potters
The name for Ōhi ware came from the village of Ōhi in which it was produced. The ceramic tradition of Ōhi-yaki has been handed down from generation to generation for almost 350 years.
Ohi-family Residence
The Ōhi family residence is a historic samurai house, which includes four tearooms. It is designated as a historical preservation building of Kanazawa. Also, located on the property is a garden with a 500-year-old sacred tree called the “Paper Cranes Pine” (Orizuru), which is designated as an important tree in Kanazawa. On the same estate, situated behind the samurai residence sits the Ōhi Museum, which introduces the works and tea culture of all its generations. 
Ōhi Museum
Ōhi Museum is located beside of Ōhi residence. It exhibits ceramic works by the many generations of Ōhi Chōzaemon.
Ohi Gallery
In 2014, the Ōhi residence underwent a complete renovation by architect Kuma Kengo. The four tearooms located inside the Ōhi residence are: Hōdōan (named by 11th generation of Urasenke Grand Tea Master Gengensai), Todoken (named and designed by 15th generation of Urasenke Grand Tea Master Hounsai), Shōtōnoma (named by 18th generation Maeda Toshiyasu and panel painted by Senjū Hiroshi) and Ōhi Gallery: and Nennen'an (named by 15th generation of Urasenke Grand Tea Master Hōunsai and designed by architect Kuma Kengo. 
"Glow of the Sun and the Moon"
This work by Ōhi Chōzaemon X (Toyasai) (born 1927) is exhibited at Kanazawa Station.
By: Art Research Center, Ritsumeikan University in collaboration with Kyoto Women's University
Credits: Story

Information provided by:
Ohi Museum

Text by:
Ohi Chozaemon XI (Toshio)

Exhibition created by:
Senda Yukari, Kobayashi Yuka, Kyoto Women's University, Lifestyle Design Laboratory

English text edited by:
Melissa M. Rinne, Kyoto National Museum

Supported by:
Morino Akito, Geishiken, Kyoto City University of Arts

Directed by:
Maezaki Shinya, Kyoto Women's University

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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