Amidst the rich, though relatively short, history of porcelain in Japan, the Kutani ware, which originated some 350 years ago at the height of the Kaga area, is particularly noted for its originality and highly expressive decorative style.
Though large parts of its history and developments remain unclear, it is well known that the Kutani ware developed under close support from the Kaga feudal lords. Departing from its original aristocratic ties, it became increasingly popular after its 19th century revival. Deeply impregnating the area’s culture and the people’s way of life, it is now considered one of the region’s most emblematic crafts.
Along with the turmoil of history and through the commitment of successive generations of talented craftsmen, the Kutani ware has evolved to cover a wide range of distinctive styles and approaches ranging from the scrupulous respect towards a multi-secular tradition to researches leaning towards contemporary trends and modern design conceptions. All the multi-faceted evolutions it has gone through have left us a remarkable legacy that shines on through deep opulent colors that seem to echo the region’s harsh and dark winters and their frequently changing skies. Either putting forward simple patterns and motives or striking our eye by its depictions of bold scenes in nevertheless extremely well balanced compositions, Kutani ware items always stand out with a remarkable expressive strength.
Several facilities, shops and ateliers in Kaga propose their visitors hands-on workshops for them to try out their skills at one of Kaga’s most emblematic crafts.