Although Iga-yaki (Iga ware) from the Mie Prefecture was produced in the Nara period (715-806), it was not popular until Chanoyu (tea ceremony) gained acceptance during the Muromachi period (1338-1573).
     Iga is a region southwest of Tokyo that also happens to be the birthplace of the original ninja warriors. It sits on a historic lake bed with clay that is full of fossilized microorganisms that burn up completely in a 2,000-degree kiln, leaving tiny holes that make the clay porous.
     As demand for tea bowls and accessories grew, Iga area potters responded with wares imbuing a philosophy of understated, rustic elegance. Irregular surfaces and natural colors mixed with classic earthenware textures embody the spirit of Iga-yaki.