Seto(Akazu) – History

The time period for Seto Ware can be traced back to the time of Sue Ware just before the Hattori/Nara Eras, but it is difficult to decide exactly when. As a historical fact, though, a description concentrating on containers from Owari, Yamada-gun in the general vicinity of Seto being at the Imperial Court has been seen in several sources such as the Engi-Shiki and Nihon Kouki.

Among the manufactured goods of the Heian Era, there was pottery with ash glaze, and in the Kamakura Era, goods that used glazes such as iron glazing and Old Seto were seen. In addition, it has been said during this time that the ceramics master Shirouzaemonkagemasa Kato engaged in manufacturing porcelain. The goods of this time included flower vases, water containers, plates and tea containers and the small plates include a predecessor of Shino Ware with iron brushwork on white lacquer.

On entering the Momoyama Era (1568-1614), the wares of Shino, Oribe and Kizeto were created, but it is said that Shino Ware was first fired by Kagemitsu Kato in the Mino kilns of Kujiri or Taihei. Kato’s son, Kagenobu, clearly manufactured white-lacquered porcelain goods at the Kujiri kiln.

Oribe Ware were goods created in Seto-like kilns around the period transitioning from the Keicho to Kan’ei Eras (1596-1643) and were the favorites with Oribenokami Furuta. There was a small lapse afterwards but the ware was revived in the years of the Tenmei Era (1781-1788). Nevertheless, there was an extremely rapid development in dyeing and around the time from the end of the Shogunate into the Meiji Era, Shuntai Kato emerged to bring about a renaissance in Oribe Ware.

Kizeto Ware has been to have been invented by the second Shiro Kato during the Momoyama Era, but it has been noticed that goods existed which had evidence of Kizeto styling even before that time.

In the early Edo Era, Nihe Kato, Taihei Kato and Tousaburo Kato, among others, were ordered to create pottery for the Owari clan, and they produced Annam dyeing, ash glaze and Ofuke glaze.

At present, the city of Seto is associated with porcelain goods, but in the Akazu area of the same city, ceramic goods are the main product.

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Article provided by the Seto Marutto Museum and the Seto Tourist Association.

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