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With Arita ware (aritayaki)

Arita ware (aritayaki) was Arita-cho, Saga and the outskirts area and pointed to made porcelain, but came to be used after Meiji widely. It was called Imari ceramic ware or Hizen ware in the Edo era.
It is said that raw materials of porcelain and clay for chinaware that it is were discovered in Izumiyama of Arita-cho in the early 17th century by Korean ceramist, first gold ka kosanheiei (under an alias: Sanpei Ri) and others. Then, as production center where porcelain was baked for the first time in Japan, we continue manufacturing mainly on tableware and art craft for 400 years.
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Arita ware has expression method as follows.

●White porcelain (lottery)

White porcelain ring flower small dish Saga Prefectural Museum of Kyushu Ceramic Arts possession Mr. and Mrs. Shibata collection

White porcelain which made use of innocence of the skin, and hung glaze of transparence, and burnt

● Making a seal with raised characters (yokoku)

White porcelain chrysanthemum sentence Chrysanthemum flower form plate Saga Prefectural Museum of Kyushu Ceramic Arts possession Mr. and Mrs. Shibata collection

We let design appear by surface irregularities

● Dyed pattern (dye)


With paint which developed indigo blue called asbolite, we painted under the glaze

● Picture (be and obtain)

Picture flowers and birds sentence plate Saga Prefectural Museum of Kyushu Ceramic Arts possession

We painted with paint for ceramic ware such as red, yellow, green, purple, money, silver on the glaze of basis material which we baked

● Celadon porcelain (politics)

Celadon porcelain long plate Saga Prefectural Museum of Kyushu Ceramic Arts possession Mr. and Mrs. Shibata collection

We let you develop bluish green by glaze which slightly included iron content

● Lapis lazuli glaze (we say lapis lazuli)

Lapis lazuli glaze twisted note Seasonal Cuisine "Hisago" form bottle Saga Prefectural Museum of Kyushu Ceramic Arts possession Mr. and Mrs. Shibata collection

We let you mixed asbolite with glaze of transparence and develop azure

● Rust glaze (it is rusted and says)

Rust glaze ring flower small dish Saga Prefectural Museum of Kyushu Ceramic Arts possession Mr. and Mrs. Shibata collection

We let you develop brown by glaze including iron content

● Cinnabar (shinsha)

15 ruins of a kiln thing original exhumation cinnabar bottle Arita-cho Board of Education Kura for Hirose

We let you resolved glaze containing copper oxide and burnt and develop red

History of Arita ware

Arita ware of the Edo era

Production of porcelain begins in Arita by clay for chinaware having been discovered in Izumiyama of Arita in the early 17th century by Korean ceramist, first gold ka kosanheiei (under an alias: Sanpei Ri) and others. It was also called "Imari (imari) firing" in those days as it was from Imari, and the shipping was done.

Dyed pattern butterfly sentence small dish Saga Prefectural Museum of Kyushu Ceramic Arts possession Mr. and Mrs. Shibata collection

In the early days when Arita ware began, thing made by around 1650 from the 1610s is called "initial Imari". Basis material is thick, and there is simple impression only for dyed pattern (dye).
It is the 1640s that picture (we be and obtain) (overglazing) began in Arita. The first who succeeded in creating multicoloured designs was Kakiemon Sakaida. From the unicolor world only of dyed pattern previous in technique to give coloring on the glaze with paint for ceramics multi-; was colored, and was groundbreaking in those days.

Picture ivy sentence ring flower plate Saga Prefectural Museum of Kyushu Ceramic Arts possession

Early picture of the 1640s through the 1660s is called "initial picture style". There is "blue hand" (aode) to paint with container side with "five colors hand" (gosaide) or green, yellow, purple, blue to use red, green, yellow, blue, purple, and to bury.
From the 1650s, Arita ware begins to be exported to Southeast Asia and European countries by Netherlands East India Company (abbreviation VOC). Because there was not technique to make porcelain such as China and Arita in Europe at the time, as for having porcelain among European lord nobles, it was in status symbol. Call Arita ware seen in collection of lord noble "IMARI" in Europe and is evaluated even now.

Picture flowers and birds sentence hexagon pot Saga Prefectural Museum of Kyushu Ceramic Arts possession

"Kakiemon Style" (we can write and lead thing and come) is popular from 1670s through 1690s. What we put picture for with pictorial composition that left the margin for the milky-white groundwork called cloudiness hand (give ambiguous) features. Not only works of Kakiemon Style were exported to Europe much and displayed palace, but also were imitated by German Meissen kiln or French Chantilly kiln.
Nabeshima feudal clan kiln which Arita had till then in the latter half of the 17th century moves to Okawachiyama of Imari-shi. Here, presentation, present called "Nabeshima" were baked with strict management of feudal clan. "Nabeshima style" features style full of dignity in picture, dyed pattern, celadon porcelain of regular container form and design.


We appear for the Genroku era period of the Edo era (1688 through 1704), and "gold-painted porcelain way" (kinrandeyoshiki) is way that is succeeded in the present age. We use paint of red and money for dark dyeing luxuriously, and it is thought that we reflected character in Genroku Era when this style that describes Kafumi to fill the container side, and was crowded was rich economically. Decoration effect is high and is favored in Europe exported to, and many works such as large pots decorate museum and castle of all parts of the world even now.

Arita ware of the late Tokugawa period

During the late Tokugawa shogunate, Arita experienced a long-term recession. We were hit by big fire in 1828 (Bunsei 11), and production of porcelain became popular in Mino area of Gifu and Seto area of Aichi, and superiority of porcelain industry of Hizen in domestic porcelain market has begun to shake. Overseas trading was until the early 18th century and we declined afterwards, but business magnate, Atau Hisatomi next soldier of the Imperial Guard of Arita got right of exclusive sale in 1841 (Tenpo 12) and was reopened. Hisatomi created a trademark for Arita porcelain. It is the first thing which wrote down the company brand name to product.
Monopolistic overseas export by Hisatomi and others in the late Tokugawa period met time of change, and red textile painter business was set of 16 again, but request of expansion became strong about this. As for the trade, as for Eizaemon Fukagawa, Ihei Hirabayashi, nine people are admitted newly after all. Sarayama chief administrator place with long history was closed by establishment of prefectures in place of feudal domains, and, as for the Sue work of Sarayama, permission system of kiln firing business and red textile painter business with chief administrator place disappeared, and business became free.

Arita ware of the Meiji era


German chemist, gottofurido Vagner are invited to Arita to initiate into Western chemistry in 1870 (Meiji 3). We initiated into methods to prepare indigo blue of burning and dyed pattern with coal kiln not natural mineral industrially.

Large vase of Fukagawa Porcelain

During the Meiji era, Arita-yaki became quite world famous thanks to the World Exhibition in Europe.
Saga feudal clan participated in international exposition of Paris of 1867 (Keio 3) by request of the Shogunate with Satsuma feudal clan. After that, a “Japonisme” trend spread from Paris to all over Europe. The displayed porcelain enjoyed great popularity and evoked a strong response from many people, including government officials. Therefore rising artisans and merchants company which was our country which had general trading firm function's first trading company was born.
Afterwards, including Philadelphia of Vienna, 1876 (Meiji 9) of 1873 (Meiji 6) exhibition to international exposition was carried out in sequence, and Koransha, seijikaisha, Fukagawa Porcelain acquired gold medal, gold medal. It goes without saying that active participation in international exposition of this time affected the evaluation of Arita ware in foreign countries.

Arita-yaki after the Taisho era

During the Taisho era, the demand for products for general industrial use and for insulators increased, so these fields of industry grew quickly. In addition, "earthenware market" which began in 1896 (Meiji 29) as the support event of held ceramics competitive show formally in 1916 (Taisho 5) develops as Arita Porcelain Fair and continues up to the present day.

When the Showa era begins, we are affected by the bad times that attacked the whole Japan and are pushed for ceramics business of big Seto area and Mino area of production scale again on price side, and porcelain production reduces and brings about unemployed person. Taking this occasion, from skill person who lost these jobs, people becoming independent appear. It is appearance of so-called ceramic art writer. The Sue, Matsuura time signal reports that we came to surpass 30 people at the time at the end of 1930 (Showa 5).
Controlled economy advanced in wartime, and pottery was forced to switch to munitions factory. Control is established to the distribution price of ceramics and makes *ka, grenade, parts of rocket with Arita again. Meanwhile, pottery and writer who received designation of "technical preservation" (under an alias: marugi) "art preservation" (under an alias: circle gay) for fear of high production technology being lost will circulate separately from the public product under control. "Circle gay" is precise thing that work of art, "marugi" are made with work of art and traditional technique in between daily necessities. As for "the circle gay", in Haizan Matsumoto, "marugi", it was Kakiemon Kiln, Imaemon Kiln, Koransha, Fukagawa Porcelain, Kisaku Kawanami, mammatsu*shi that received designation in Arita.
Amount of production, sales are big together and make rapid progress for the 30s through the 40s of the Showa era after the war.

Kakiemon ceramics technology preservation society and color Nabeshima Imaemon technology preservation society are authorized as important intangible cultural properties maintenance group of countries in 1976 (Showa 51), and Tengudani Kiln Ruins, Yamabe field ruins of a kiln, Haraake ruins of a kiln, Izumiyama Quarry trace further appoint on historic spot of country in 1980 (Showa 55). In addition, cityscape of Kamiarita area was chosen in 1991 (Heisei 3) by Important Preservation Districts for Groups of Traditional Buildings of country, and culture that surrounded Arita ware has been accepted nationwide.

As for the current Arita ware, it does not have change that production of tableware and art crafts is the center, but tile, insulator, production of industrial products including aciduric porcelain are performed, too.

How Arita Ware Is Made

In principle, the production of Arita ware is based on division of labour.
The manufacturing method gradually changed by progress of technique and tool, but it is with molding, hodokoshiuwagusuri, picture and carries each process while specialists of each field such as burning succeed to traditional technique.
Click here for more information about how Arita ware is made.


Apart from information about Arita ware, this brochure contains topics not covered by conventional tourist brochures, such as local foodstuff, nature and people of Arita. In addition, this cultural information brochure introduces many cute and pretty items that can be found in Arita, which is why it offers interesting information for both, porcelain experts and amateurs (annual publication).
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