Mikawachi Sarayama Area

Hirado Kosho Danemon Kiln
889 Mikawachi-cho, Sasebo-shi, Nagasaki-ken
Tel: 0956-30-8606
Fax: 0956-30-8632


http://kohsyo.main.jp (English)

Showroom/sales room: Yes (flexible schedule)
Credit cards: Yes
Sold at: Mikawachi Ceramics Museum, THE COVER NIPPON, Hotel Okura Huis Ten Bosch
Main techniques: Decorative chrysanthemums, blue-and-white
This kiln mastered delicate techniques of Mikawachi ware, such as applying chrysan-themum decoration to thinly crafted vessels, and was also known for a high level of skill in forming the pots. After reexamining the beautiful designs created over the Meiji, Taisho, and Showa eras, the kiln has chosen to recreate those pieces that are relevant in the modern age.
Hirado cup with applied chrysanthemum and blue wave pattern

Hirado Shōzan
901 Mikawachi-cho, Sasebo-shi, Nagasaki-ken
Tel: 0956-30-8657 (gallery)
Tel/fax: 0956-30-7734 (studio)



Showroom/sales room: Yes
Credit cards: Yes
Sold at: Tōkadō, THE COVER NIPPON, Hotel Okura Huis Ten Bosch, Unzen Kanko Hotel
Main techniques: Blue-and-white, designs of children playing
Since the Edo period, this kiln has produced work with the traditional Mikawachi decorative motif of karako, Chinese children playing. Today the potters create modern karako designs. The kilns produces lively versions of decorative lions, elephants, children, and other traditional motifs interpreted in innovative ways.
Plate with design of children playing

Keishō Kiln
895 Mikawachi-cho, Sasebo-shi, Nagasaki-ken
Tel: 0956-30-8716
Fax: 0956-30-8833


Showroom/sales room: Yes
Credit cards: Yes
Sold at: Mikawachi Ceramics Museum
Main techniques: Blue-and-white, designs of children playing, cherry blossoms, waves, etc.
Using only blue cobalt pigment, this kiln produces works decorated with bold, powerful outlines and mastery of the ukashi-dami technique of filling in the background. Products include a wide variety of ware, from daily utensils to decorative art pieces. The children's expressions are masterfully painted with lively brushstrokes. Flowers, animals, and abstract designs also receive this flamboyant treatment, making these pieces enjoyable to see and touch.
Bowl covered with cherry blossom pattern

Hirado Kashō Kiln
894 Mikawachi-cho, Sasebo-shi, Nagasaki-ken
Tel: 0956-30-8768
Fax: 0956-30-8928

Showroom/sales room: Yes
Credit cards: No
Sold at: Mikawachi Ceramics Museum
Main techniques: Blue-and-white, platinum lines, yuzu skin
Although made of porcelain, the pots fired at this kiln look and feel more like stone-ware. The kiln specializes in tableware for restaurants and hotels. These vessels are designed to be sturdy and adaptable to either Japanese or western styles, accenting the cuisine wherever they are used.
Boat-shaped mukōzuke dish with blue cobalt line design

Hirado Tōshō Gokō Kiln
710 Mikawachi-cho, Sasebo-shi, Nagasaki-ken
Tel/fax: 0956-30-8641


Showroom/sales room: Yes
Credit cards: Yes
Main techniques: Eggshell porcelain, blue-and-white, crystalline glazes
The artisans at this kiln have been successful in reproducing ultra-thin eggshell porcelain, a technique originally perfected in the Edo period. In addition, the kiln produces a variety of ware including traditional blue-and-white ware, shinsha glazed ware and pieces with crystalline glazes. The works of this kiln are exhibited around Japan and in New York and other international venues.
Boat-shaped Eggshell porcelain coffee cup and saucer with gold phoenix design

Heibei Kiln
899-3 Mikawachi-cho, Sasebo-shi, Nagasaki-ken
Tel: 0956-30-8769
Fax: 0956-30-8546

Showroom/sales room: Yes (closed Saturday, Sunday, and holidays)
Credit cards: No
Sold at: Mikawachi Ceramics Museum
Main technique: Donabe cooking pots made with original clay
Unique in a porcelain producing area, this kiln fires donabe cooking pots. After training in Kyoto, the potter came to Mikawachi and found a local clay that could be blended to make the refractory donabe clay. From small one-person pots, this kiln produces donabe in all sizes for cooking and steaming one-pot meals, sukiyaki, rice, casseroles, and others.
Donabe pot for stew

Kōun Kiln
828 Mikawachi-cho, Sasebo-shi, Nagasaki-ken
Tel/fax: 0956-30-7232


Showroom/sales room: Yes
Credit cards: No
Sold at: THE COVER NIPPON, Mikawachi Ceramics Museum
Main techniques: Blue-and-white, okiage
Products of this kiln are meticulously decorated with traditional motifs of landscapes, lions, and dragons executed in precise brushwork. Since the Nagasaki area is steeped in the culture of the whaling industry, it is natural that this kiln has developed whale motifs as well. The potters here also resurrected the okiage technique after several decades. The works created at this kiln are instantly recognizable for the high level of craftsmanship as the artisans continue the traditions of Mikawachi ware.
Blue wave and whale design

Chizan Kiln
870 Mikawachi-cho, Sasebo-shi, Nagasaki-ken
Tel/fax: 0956-30-8555

Showroom/sales room: No
Credit cards: No
Sold at: Mikawachi Ceramics Museum
Main techniques: Usude, overglaze decoration
This kiln produces tableware for restaurants and inns. The vessels created here dazzle the eye with a variety of shapes and colorful decoration including silver and gold. At the same time, recognizing white as the basic color of Mikawachi ware, the potters have recreated a modern utilitarian version of the thinly crafted work known as taihaku-de.
Platinum lidded vessel with 3-sun pedestal

Kasen Kiln
685 Mikawachi-cho, Sasebo-shi, Nagasaki-ken
Tel: 0956-30-8201
Fax: 0956-30-8202



Showroom/sales room: Yes
Credit cards: Yes
Main techniques: Hakutai (ultra-thin), sumi-hajiki resist decoration
The potters at this kiln have developed their original brand, creating innovative ware for entertaining and daily use. Their thin, white ware makes full use of the possibilities of Mikawachi techniques, reminding us of the origins of Kyushu porcelain.

Kakushō Kiln
689 Mikawachi-cho, Sasebo-shi, Nagasaki-ken
Tel/fax: 0956-30-8765


Showroom/sales room: Yes (flexible schedule)
Credit cards: Yes
Sold at: THE COVER NIPPON, Unka Kawasaki Azalea branch, Mikawachi Pottery Muse-um
Main techniques: Blue-and-white
The artisans at this kiln strive to achieve blue-and-white decoration with lines that are decisive, sensitive, tasteful, soft and supple. Without stylizing their designs, they continue the tradition of treating each surface as a unique painting; at the same time, they eagerly develop new and innovative designs. The kiln also produces reproductions of high quality tableware using molds that were popular in the Meiji and Taisho eras.
Blue-and-white bowl with bamboo grove design

Kakufusa Kiln
692 Mikawachi-cho, Sasebo-shi, Nagasaki-ken
Tel/fax: 0956-30-8520



Showroom/sales room: Yes (flexible schedule)
Credit cards: No
Main technique: Hand-formed decoration
One decorative technique of Mikawachi ware is the hand-formed porcelain expressions of animals, insects, flowers, and vegetables. Compared to stoneware, it is difficult to achieve minute detail in decoration, but the artisans here are able to depict insects' antennae, pleats, and even wrinkles in their decorative work. They have invented new designs that did not exist even in the peak of Mikawachi ware in the Meiji era.
Censer with chrysanthemum design

Gyokuhō Kiln
176-1 Mikawachi-cho, Sasebo-shi, Nagasaki-ken
Tel/fax: 0956-30-7716



Showroom/sales room: Yes (flexible schedule)
Credit cards: Yes
Sold at: Mikawachi Pottery Museum, Online shop
Main techniques: Blue-and-white
This kiln uses glazes formulated with ash of the isu tree, one of the most important ingredients of Kyushu ceramics. The works fired here are warm and robust, reminding us of the first porcelain fired long ago. The potters have adapted their work to the modern table; for example, they decorate pieces one by one, varying the designs so that each one can be enjoyed individually or as a set.
Blue-and-white bowls with varied patterns

Gyokusen Kiln
189-2 Mikawachi-hon-machi, Sasebo-shi, Nagasaki-ken
Tel: 0956-30-8637

Showroom/sales room: Yes (flexible schedule)
Credit cards: No
Main techniques: Openwork
The openwork technique, where motifs are carved out of the porcelain surface with a sharp knife, is not really suited to the character of porcelain clay. The technique has been used in Mikawachi, however, since the Edo period. Using this technique, the Gyokusen kiln produces traditional forms such as multi-level towers and decorative censers. They also create work made to order, and daily utensils such as incense burners and chopstick rests.
Openwork censer

Playing Children (nakayoshi karako)
188-1 Mikawachi-hon-machi, Sasebo-shi, Nagasaki-ken
Tel: 0956-30-8856



Showroom/sales room: Yes (flexible schedule)
Credit cards: Yes
Main techniques: Blue-and-white
These children include girls, not seen in other depictions of karako. These works are notable for the subtle differences in the children's actions, poses and expressions painted with delicate brush work. The Akane pottery series specializes in thistles, weeping cherry blossoms, and bellflower scroll work executed in soft, gentle colors. This pottery aims to achieve the ease of use of porcelain combined with the soft quality of stoneware.
Coke bottle (collaboration between Playing Children and Akane Pottery)

Kihara Area and Other areas

Yokoishi Ichigen Kiln
26-5 Yokote-cho, Sasebo-shi, Nagasaki-ken
Tel/fax: 0956-30-8665

Showroom/sales room: Yes
Credit cards: No
Sold at: Mikawachi Pottery Museum
Main techniques: Blue-and-white, overglaze enamels
The proprietor of this kiln studied in Imari, and spent many years making vases and large plates that are considered "art works." Today he mainly fires Japanese tableware for everyday use. Combining the familiar blue-and-white technique of Mikawachi with the colorful red, green, and yellow of Imari ware, this kiln produces work that is unique and original.
Set of plates with differing scenes of children playing at a festival

Gagyū Kiln
1897-1 Kihara-cho, Sasebo-shi, Nagasaki-ken
Tel: 0956-30-8653
Fax: 0956-30-8084



Showroom/sales room: Yes
Credit cards: Yes
Sold at: Gagyū Kiln Nagasaki Gallery, Odakyu Department Store (Shinjuku, Machida, Fujisawa), Hotel Okura Huis Ten Bosch, Glass Road 1571
Main techniques: Hakeme in the Genroku Utsutsugawa style, white heron motif
Utsutsugawa ware pottery was produced for only about 50 years around the Genroku period (1688-1704). Today Gagyū kiln recreates the delicate beauty of this ware. The kiln's heron motifs continue the tradition while challenging new creative expression.
Plate with white heron motif

Kameoka Pottery Studio
1900-1 Kihara-cho, Sasebo-shi, Nagasaki-ken
Tel/fax: 0956-30-8581



Showroom/sales room: Yes (reservation needed)
Credit cards: Yes
Main techniques: Hakeme, okiage
This studio specializes in the okiage technique, where horse and other motifs are ap-plied to the surface in relief in white slip. Here the hakeme brushing technique, usually used on stoneware, is applied to porcelain. In a technique known as hanabake (flower brushing), delicate flower designs are applied to the pots, introducing new possibilities for Mikawachi pottery.
"Height of Spring" - Plate with mother and child horse design

Hōju Kiln
1861 Kihara-cho, Sasebo-shi, Nagasaki-ken
Tel: 0956-30-8763
Fax: 0956-30-8432

Showroom/sales room: Yes
Credit cards: No
Sold at: Mikawachi Pottery Museum
Main techniques: Sprayed black glaze, blue-and-white
This kiln uses blue-and-white decoration combined with other techniques in non-traditional ways, such as sprayed black glaze. The artisans take traditional motifs such as playing children, waves and rabbits, and animal caricatures, and through the sophisticated use of white space and gradations of color, create vessels as expressions suited to modern daily life.
Bowl, overglaze enamel, design of playing children

Tōgen Kiln
177 Yokote-cho, Sasebo-shi, Nagasaki-ken
Tel: 0956-30-8984
Fax: 0956-30-8828


Showroom/sales room: Yes (flexible schedule)
Credit cards: No
Main techniques: Kohiki, icchin, luster glazes
This kiln produces lovely pots decorated with flower and plant designs in white slip. They use a variety of decorative techniques, such as underglaze painting, combining different glazes, and nerikomi clay marbling. With the gohon effect on their white slip ware, their fired work emphasizes the warmth of the clay.
Square plate with rabbit design, white slip fired in reduction

Ubusuna Kiln
261 Satoyoshi-cho, Sasebo-shi, Nagasaki-ken
Tel: 080-2695-3196
Fax: 0956-30-8194


Showroom/sales room: Yes
Credit cards: No
Main techniques: Kohiki, unglazed ware
This potter left his job in the business world to establish a studio in the mountains and pursue the pottery he loves, especially kohiki and hakeme slip ware and unglazed wood-fired ware. The kiln here has been fired over 500 times, and it produces dolls and decorative objects reflecting the skill gained from experience.
Boy riding on dragon

Keizan Kiln
1342-1 Shingyoue-cho, Sasebo-shi, Nagasaki-ken
Tel/fax: 0956-30-8815

Showroom/sales room: Yes (flexible schedule)
Credit cards: No
Main techniques: Blue-and-white, openwork
"I observe nature and try to draw the plants as they are." The proprietor of this kiln tries to create works born from nature. He draws lively depictions of plants as "paintings" on his robust porcelain forms, continuing the tradition of Mikawachi ware.
Container for sweets, "Forest Vibration"

Giyō Pottery Studio
326 Kuwakoba-cho, Sasebo-shi, Nagasaki-ken
Tel/fax: 0956-30-8772

Showroom/sales room: No
Credit cards: No
Sold at: Mikawachi Pottery Traditional Industry Hall
Main techniques: Overglaze enamels, designs of children playing
At the end of the Edo period, western-style blue-and-white ware decorated with overglaze red began to be produced for export. This kiln specializes in somenishiki, blue-and-white pieces with overglaze decoration in red, green, and gold. The designs are executed swiftly and sometimes surprisingly, such as when the traditionally blue-and-white design is executed instead in red enamel.
Mug, somenishiki with design of three children and cherry blossoms

Hirado Nihonmatsu Kōkō
450-2 Kuwakoba-cho, Sasebo-shi, Nagasaki-ken
Tel/fax: 0956-38-3937

Showroom/sales room: Yes
Credit cards: No
Main techniques: Hand-formed, hand-painted
In the past this kiln fired blue-and-white ware with designs of plants, mountains and rivers. At present, however, it mainly produces stoneware. The stoneware is covered with white slip and decorated with fluid brushwork. The kiln produces many innovative and unique pieces of tableware and decorative ware.
Square plate

Hirado Yakijirō Kiln
175 Yamato-cho, Sasebo-shi, Nagasaki-ken
Tel/fax: 0956-31-3094


Showroom/sales room: No
Credit cards: No
Main techniques: Openwork, carving, blue-and-white
This kiln specializes in replicating classic masterpieces, but also energetically creates modern sculptural work. The potter's skill was honed by his passion for old Hirado ware and his exposure to many influences. From delicate small pieces to bold, large-scale work, this kiln is unique in the wide variety of work it creates.
Openwork censer