Friday, September 16, 2011

HAGI YAKI (萩焼き )-Ceramics of Yamaguchi Prefecture

There is an old Japanese saying when referring to the best pottery for the tea ceremony: "Ichi-raku, Ni-Hagi, San-Karatsu". First is raku, second Hagi and third Karatsu.

I learned from a friend that rough Hagi clay is called Oni- Hagi (鬼萩) and smooth is called Hime-Hagi (姫萩). Some of each are shown here.

Generic Hagi Marks



                                                       CHIN SHU GAMA (椿秀窯)

This mottled look is called Gohonde which is a popular style in HAGI ware. 

                                                      HAGIDONO GAMA  (萩殿窯)


                                                         HAGI RYUZAN (萩竜山)


                                                                 TENPOZAN-GAMA (天鵬山窯)

Tenpozan Kiln Mark

Vase-Tenpozan Kiln

Hagiyaki tea bowl Gohon glaze




Hagi tea cup probably Jouzan-gama  mark

Watanabe Jyozan, Jozan-gama Mark

Jozan-gama meoto "couple" teacups
                                               By Jyozan Watanabe




*Hagi Yaki tea bowl by Shoun (祥雲)

*Hara Shoun MARK

Mr. Hara was born in Izumo, made Hagi and Izumo wares, later went to Kyoto, studied Korean pottery. He built a kiln in Uji, Kyoto named Seiwa Gama. Later wares carry the Seiwa Mark (清和).

Here is a box from the same tea bowl. It states Hagi Yaki made by Shoun.


Okada Yu

Friday, September 9, 2011

What an undertaking!

When I started my quest to discover the artists, kilns and retailers who made and sold the pieces I have collected little did I know just how many kilns, and artists there were!  Since I have embarked on this project I have learned a lot of vocabulary, kanji characters and possible readings. I find it interesting that Japanese people are not necessarily any farther ahead than I am with reading the marks on the pieces.  Some artists writing reminds me of all the jokes made about the illegibility of doctor's handwriting.  The other factors of multiple readings of a character, as well as the carved "hanko" designs for making the marks on the pottery and the boxes make for a difficult task.  I will continue to share what I am learning and hopefully it will be of some use to my readers. Keep in mind that I am not Japanese and I am involved in a complex learning process!

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