My Japan Weaving Tour – Day 16

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Day 16. A Day in Okawachiyama. Another town known for porcelain. Long ago the feudal lord Nabeshima took the best potters from Arita village to the valley where he lived to make porcelain for him and to send to the Shogun as his tax payment rather than sending rice. Now we know it as Nabeshima ware. Notable is the painting done on the ceramics and also for celadon porcelain. From my vantage point I could see 4 chimneys for kilns. If you zoom in you can see two. The valley with its surrounding mountains was picture-perfect.


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Walking in Okawachiyama. This narrow street was lined with pottery shops. This is a taste of the mountain scenery from the valley with the town.


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A studio where they were painting on the pottery.


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A display of the hairs used in the brushes for painting the pottery. Some of the examples here were eye brows from horses, goats, pigs, and raccoons. An especially spikey one is from the belly of a deer. One of the bushy ones is from the tail of a chipmunk. Our guide told us that somewhere in Japan there is a shrine or monument honoring all the animals sacrificed for all the artists’ brushes.


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At a modern pottery the manager opened the door of the huge kiln.


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The inside of the kiln. Note the tracks in the floor.


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This would be loaded with pottery to be fired then rolled into the big kiln. A very modern operation we thought.


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Types of celadon glaze. The special blue color was prized and a specialty here. The different colors seemed to be due to different firing techniques. A piece of the rock for this glaze is shown here.


 

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