arita yaki

Arita is also a porcelain place but in Saga. It's just 5 km away from Hasami but has a very different history apart from the very beginning. The technique was brought in by a Korean potter and they have the monument for this potter Ri Sanpei. He found a clay mountain in the area and the local government took charge of the pottery businesses. 
Arita started with free-hand drawing style like Hasami (Actually Hasami Kurawanka style started from this). However, Japan at that time imported porcelain from China mainly, Arita started copying their Jingdezhen style. Their design was much designed and detailed. They became very successful not inland but abroad as China went into an unstable period of the dynasty changing. With the increasing demand from abroad they built huge noborigamas (climbing chamber kiln) in the town. Arita was then exported as Imari (also another porcelain place nearby with a port to ship!).
Arita grew not only in the business but also in the style. They developed own design from Jingdezhne style and started akae (red drawing) which they painted on-glaze red colour on cobalt underglaze as well as on-glaze colours and gold guilding. These luxury items made it into palaces in Europe but also were copied there.
When China got back in the world business Arita produced luxury items for domestic supply. They were also often used in tea ceremony too. So you can imagine how shocking and new the athetics of Sen Rikyu (please have a look at my Raku yaki post!) could have been in tea ceremony world at that time!

As the porcelain became available anywhere Arita was no longer unique on its own and each potteries developed their own styles. I visited Riso gama that is in 4th generation at the moment. In the factory there were 5 painters, desks lined up along the window. The first woman was tracing design onto the bisqueware and the other women were specialising in drawing and colouring. A woman who was in charge of linear lines had eyes just a few centimeters away from the tip of the brush! That is how minute their work is...! (I can never do it!)
They were very beautifully made and drawn but for that work it cannot come cheap. Hopefully I can afford one some day!?!?

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