MINO-YAKI (Mino pottery)


What is MINO-YAKI?


MINO-YAKI is an pottery made in Mino area which is located in Gifu prefecture. MINO-YAKI production started in this area during Tumulus Period as the soil in MINO contains plenty of ingredients required for pottery. In Japan, MINO-YAKI is the most popular pottery. Its share now goes beyond 50% of the Japanese pottery market. You can find the largest concentration of MINO-YAKI potters at Toki city in Gifu prefecture.

There are fifteen different traditionaly MINO-YAKI variations. The following four are teh most popular ones among them.
SHINO-YAKI: Painted by rich black or brown enamel and gives you a warm and natural impression.
ORIBE-YAK: I: Mostly uses dark green colors and are freer from traditional MINO-YAKI design. With its color and the shape, ORIBE-YAKI still looks frech and unique even among modern items.
KISETO-YAKI: Uses light yellow enamel. With unique green paintings KISETO-YAKI gives you a refined impression.
SETOKURO-YAKI: A black pottery. The glossy black color was realized by rapid cooking and baking.

REMIOjapan sells MINOYAKI made by Sakuzan, founded in 1987. Sakuzan has a team of fifteen skilled craftworkers who spend a lot of time and care on the products. Sakuzan places the highest priority on creating simple, useful earthenware which imparts the warmth of the handmade. Sakuzan earthenware will make your everyday life specialn and enjoyable.



History of MINO-YAKI

The history of Mino-yaki goes back to 1300yrs ago. The technique of Sueware was taught by Koreans.
In Heian Periot(794-1185), the enamel made from ash (called “Shirashi”) was introduced. This types of pottery became very popular and was produced all over Japan.
During Kamakura Perion (2296-1333), people started making pottery without putting enamels on. By this time, the general public also started to use Mino-yaki in daily life.
In Muromach (1336-1573) to Momoyama Period (1573-1603), many different enamels were invented. The major Mino-yaki variations; Shino, Kiseto, Seto-kuro were born in this time.
In seventeenth century, people started building kilns in steep mountains. Building kilns in steep mountains were an revolutionary idea and it made Mino-yaki easier to make.
A samurai who was also an expert in tea ceremony, Oribe Furuta made many Mino-yakis. Mino-yaki which Oribe made were name as “Oribe”. Mino-yaki has been changing with the culture in that time and will continue to improve with our life.

How do you make MINO-YAKI?

1.MIXING : Make perfect clay for the product by carefully adding the water to the fine sand.

2.SHAPING : Shape the material to Minoyaki original designs; Himo-tsukuri, Tama-tsukuri, Tatara-tsukuri, Te-bineri etc.

3.DRYING : Dry slowly under the shade/ in the shade. Drying time will differ by each material and its shape.

4.BISQUEING : Bisque the product at 700-800℃ to increase water absorption and its strenght.

5.PRE-PAINTING : Make a draft on the product before glazing.

6.COATING : Put enamel onto the product. This will strengthen the product. There are three typical ways of enamel coating.
1 )Zubugake ,putting the product into enamel
2 )Hishaku-gake, coating enamel onto the product with ladle, are the typical ways of Minoyaki enamel coating
3 )Spray

7.BAKING : Bake the product at 1230-1250℃. The kiln must be kept its density even.

8.PAINTING : Paint the product,then bake it at 700-800℃.

9.FINISHING : Check the product for any defaults and sand it to a fine shape.




*The following treatment will help keep the product in good shape for a long time
– Roughly, rinse the product with warm water
– To avoid stains, boil the MinoYaki for 30 minutes in the water with which you have washed Japanese rice.
(Since Japanese rice is sticky, the washed water works as a glue. The glue will fill the small spaces between the clay and avoid the stains).
– The bottom of the product has been sanded but if you with to make it smoother, you may sand it with a sand paper.
– Potteries are more fragile than porcelains, please handle your Minoyaki with care
– We recommend not using the microwave. There are possibilities that the oil of the food burn out on the product or the design of cracks(“Kannyu”) becomes bigger by the heat of microwave.
– After use, wash them in cold/ hot water with a detergent. Dry well
– Avoid soaking in water. If soaked in a dirty water, the product may get moldy by absorbing the water
– Since dishes are fragile, we recommend you to wash the product by hand
– If the product has stains, use the kitchen bleach

*The image of the product may slightly differ by your PC, the environment, the light when taken the product from the real product but REMIOjapan cannot accept a refund just because you are not satisfied with the product. Also, please be aware that since our products are mostly hand-made, all the products are original and unique and “exact same” product does not exist.


About the Artist

Interview of MINO-YAKI Artist

Since REMIOjapan feels that it is important to let you know who is making our products, we try to interview the artists. For Mino-yaki, we have interviewed one of the artist who is working at Sakuzan pottery, Mr, Yoshizumi Kimura.
SHIGETOSHI KIMURA, who was born in Gifu prefecture, having father and mother working related to Mino-yaki, has started working for Mino-yaki with no concern or doubt. Growing up with Yoshizumi, his son has followed a same path. His son is working together now.

– What is MINO-YAKI?

SHIGETOSHI MINO-YAKI is said to be a quite flexible pottery. It doesn’t have strict rules. The appealing point of MINO-YAKI is that it is a mixture of new and old. Keeping the tradition as it is, but change the way to suit the modern society. It is similar to how I work. I teach the younger people “how” but they give me new ideas. I believe that this collaboration is one of the attractive point about MINO-YAKI.

– What is MINO-YAKI to you?

SHIGETOSHII: Simply saying, it is my life. I have been making MINO-YAKI since I can remember. All I can do is make MINO-YAKI. I cannot do something for the damage happened in Fukushima, but I believe that by working hard and teaching the younger about MINO-YAKI, it will indirectly ease the people in Fukushima. Like a tradition, the younger save the world. I think that by me working modest and teaching the younger, the younger will help Fukushima and make the better world.