Kutani-yaki: Kanazawa’s Traditional Modern Porcelain Craft

  • When it comes to fine craftsmanship, there are plenty of things that Japan has to brag about. Kutani-yaki, Japanese style porcelain, is a prime example of Japanese artistic craft: the structure, detailed design and time that each and every craftsman takes to finish a piece is an astounding sight in itself. Even with the passing of time, these beautiful works of art are still widely appreciated in the modern times.


    The History of Kutani-yaki

    The Kutani-yaki style was first used during the 1600’s when stones that were suitable to produce porcelain were found in the Kutani mine. During that time, Kutani porcelain was considered rare, and production continued for many years until the Kutani mine closed down.

    In the 1800’s the Kutani-yaki style was re-discovered, and new painting techniques were then infused with the porcelain designs’ development. The styles that were used back then differed from the old style when it came to colors, but remained similar through its simplistic coatings.

    Modern Kutani-yaki


    In Kanazawa, you will be able to find this beautiful Japanese porcelain easily. The style stands out from others because of the way multiple colors such as blues, greens, reds and many more are used. The bold designs cover almost all of the surface of the porcelain, portraying an outstanding design.


    Nowadays, the Kutani-yaki style is not only used as a design for ornaments and vessels but also in simple daily used items like cups and glasses. Aside from this, the porcelain is considered a traditional handicraft of the Kanazawa area and is an attraction for (overseas) visitors in itself.


    Visiting Kanazawa, tourists can view as well as experience painting Kutani-yaki at pottery shops Kutani Kosengama (Kutani Kosen Pottery Kiln) and Chojudo. You can also see an exhibition of Kutani-yaki displays at the Kanazawa Kutani Museum (Kaburaki). You can click here for more information and directions about the museum.

    Even in this modern time, the beauty of the past has been preserved well. Make sure to check out this traditional handicraft from Kanazawa if you ever get the chance to visit the prefecture of Ishikawa!

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