A Guide to ”Takatori-yaki"(Takatori-ware)
A Message from the Head Family in charge of "Takatori-yaki"
The history of "Takatori-yaki",which enjoyed the privilege of being a patronized kiln of the Kuroda Clan in Chikuzen, begins in 1600 when the "Eimannji Kiln" was completed at the southern foot of Mt.Takatori-yama, presently located on the outskirts of the city of Nohgata in Fukuoka Prefecture.
The "Eimannji Kiln" was built by Hachizan , who established Takatori-Yaki.
The first generation Hachizan was Hachizo Shigetada was promoted to the rank of samurai and received, from Nagamasa of the House of Kuroda who had entered the province of Chikuzen, the family name of "Takatori", taken from the mountain, "Takatori-yama".
After receiving the family name of "Takatori", Hachizan moved to Uchigaiso in 1614 and produced his works from the "Uchigaiso Kiln" for a period of 10 years.
It was during the later part of his days at the Uchigaiso KIln that his style changed from being clear and vigorous, to being refind. Receiving supervision from Kobori Enshu, who taught Iemitsu, the third Tokugawa Shogun,the "Enshu School "of solemn tea preparation. Hahizan went on as the head of the "Enshu Nanagama kiln"to produce many masterpieces.
He then moved his kiln to Shirahatayama ( presently Kobukuro in the City of Iizuka)and lived there until his death.
In 1665, Hachizo Sadaaki, The 2nd generation of the Hachizan Family, built the "Tsuzumi kiln"in Tsuzumi Village of Joza-gun. The location is where the head family to the "Takatori-yaki" presently resides. In 1716, the "Higashi Sarayama Kiln" in Sohara Village of Sawara-gun (presently Sawara-ku in the City of Fukuoka) was opend by Genbei Katsutoshi. There he began the practice of working from both kiln by residing at the "Tsuzumi kiln" six months out of the year. This practice continued as it was passed on through generations until 1870, when Japan abolished the feudal clan system.
In the way, Takatori-Yaki, cultivated through long tradition, has been a secret art, passed on from father to son, from generation to generation. We deeply believe that in the future, we must come up with new creative works while protecting our tradition in a way which will not disgrace our ancestors. To accomplish this, we ask for your continuing cooperation and support.