Japan is a land of various delicious cuisines. So most of the time, you’ll normally be served with great dishes complemented by beautiful crockery. But with so many wares being sold in different shops, choosing the best can be very tough. If you’re living in Iwate, it can be easy as pie. A popular ceramic ware known as Kokuji Ware has long been adored by many people owing to its beautiful and steady nature which has been crafted from the hands of local Kuji people.
Kokuji Ware has a very long history of over 200 years. It actually started as a daily ceramic ware which was normally used by common people. It was abundant in nature as it was only made of clay coming from the coastline. Historically, the very first mention of Kokuji Ware was in the documents written in the year 1813. It mentioned that the first ever craftsman of Kokuji Ware, Jinnemon Kumagai, invited a potter from Soma to his home to learn the technique of pottery. Though the climate in Kuji City wasn’t that suitable for making pottery, especially during winter time which tends to freeze the clay, it still continued to flourish considering the effort of the craftsman’s studies and training. The strategy of the craft tradition made the pottery thrive.
The increase in popularity of Kokuji Ware was very fast which also lead to a fast decline. It was primarily brought about by the lifestyle of people which changed especially after World War II. The problem now was finding a successor who could continue the technique. Fortunately, two craftsmen were interested in reviving the technique of making the ceramics and passed it on from one generation to the next.
Kokuji Ware has the simple characteristic of its dishes having a long lip line. This detail in crafting has never changed over time. Its simplicity is one thing that attracts many people who believe the ceramic ware can be easily used on a daily basis. Since it became part of the Kuji people’s lifestyle, Kokuji Ware has also been a favorite souvenir of many tourists and even people from neighboring areas. If you happen to visit the homes of people in the city, more often than not, you will see a cupboard with Kokuji Ware in it.
Kokuji Ware has a timeless beauty which makes it an ideal form of a simple Japanese art. The tradition of making the ceramic ware has long been protected and is still popularly being produced today.