According to archeological evidence, Japanese pottery is among the earliest in the World, dating back to the 11th millennium BC, marking the beginning of the Jomon period.
From the beginning of the following Yayoi period around 300 BC, with the introduction of continental technologies like the cultivation of rice, Japanese pottery (陶芸, Jp. tōgei; also 焼きもの, Jp. yakimono) was heavily influenced by Chinese, and Korean pottery also contributed to Japanese pottery over the ages. However, people came to develop styles peculiar to Japan. Nowadays, there are many types of Japanese pottery. Each area has its own unique style. The modern history of Japanese pottery is closely related to that of the tea ceremony.
Styles of Japanese pottery
Arita-yaki - Produced in Saga. Introduced by Korean potters at the beginning of the Edo Period.
Also called Imari-yaki.
Bizen-yaki - Produced in Okayama. Also called Inbe-yaki. A reddish-brown pottery, which is believed to have originated in the 6th century.
Hagi-yaki - Produced in Yamaguchi. Since it is burned at a relatively low temperature, it is fragile and transmits the warmth of its contents quickly.
Karatsu-yaki - Produced in Saga. The most produced pottery in western Japan. Believed to have started in the 16th century. Greatly influenced by Korean potters.
Kutani-yaki - Produced in Ishikawa.
Mino-yaki - Produced in Gifu.
Raku-yaki - Produced in Kyoto. There is a proverb, 'First, Raku(-yaki). Second, Hagi. Third, Karatsu.' Traditionally believed to be the best kind.
Ryumonji-yaki - Produced in Kagoshima. Started by Korean potters about four hundred years ago.
Seto-yaki - Produced in Aichi. The most produced Japanese pottery in Japan. Even some Japanese people misunderstand the word Seto-yaki (or Seto-mono) stands for all the Japanese potteries.
Shigaraki-yaki - Produced in Shiga. One of the oldest styles in Japan. Famous for raccoon dog (tanuki) pottery pieces.
Souma-yaki - Produced in Fukushima. Image of a horse (uma or koma), which is very popular in this area, is the main pattern. Therefore, it is sometimes called Soumakoma-Yaki.
Tamba-yaki - Produced in Hyogo. Also called Tatekui-yaki. One of the six oldest kinds in Japan.
Tokoname-yaki - Produced in Aichi. Most of them are flower vases , rice bowls , teacup.