There have been kilns in use in Tokoname (Aichi Prefecture) possibly since the later stages of the Heian period. Ancient kilns have been discovered all over Japan, but the number of kilns counted in Tokoname are over 3000, more than any other area of Japan. One of the Six Old Kilns, they are believed to be the oldest kilns in the history of Japanese ceramics, and although there were several other areas in Japan which specialized in ceramics at the time, none of them could compare to Tokoname's number of kilns and quality products. Throughout its 900-year history, Tokoname wares have adapted to the ever changing needs of the marketplace, from urns to ceramic pipes, although it is most well known for its reddish teapots and tea wares.
Tokoname-yaki was first produced as urns for Buddhist sutras during the Nara period (710-794), but it was during the Muromachi (1338-1573) and Edo (1603-1867) periods when Tokoname became known for its tea ware items. Much like Banko-yaki, Tokoname clay is very fine and allows for intricate designs.
teapots are famous as typical Tokoname ware, so that one
red-brown teapots immediately when one hears the name of
It was relatively earlier in the history of Tokoname
redware was introduced. It was during the period from 1861
Tea ware for green tea like teapots had been produced
early 19th century in Tokoname following the popularity of
of green tea drinking from the late Edo era. Typical tea
this period was redware produced in China. Mr. Jyumon
Nikou Kataoka started to make redware for the first time
Tokoname redware was made by the clay from rice fields
lots of iron. This clay gave the ware a rich deep red
color after firing. Producing
redware drastically changed Tokoname's ceramic industry.
who specialize in making redware teapots appeared in
those who had made conventional large products such as
pots. Important to the development of Tokoname ceramics
was a Chinese
potter Jin Shi Heng who was invited to teach Chinese
technique to Tokoname potters in 1878. This greatly helped
development of redware teapots. The clay is also very fine grained so that it shrinks very little during firing, thus permitting artists to carve intricate designs in the clay. The technique of carving
on teapots started from the time Jin Shi Heng came to