In the middle of the 18th century, the local clan head felt that it would be possible to improve clan finances by producing porcelain using a locally found kaolin. Potters experienced in the making of porcelain from the region of present-day Nagasaki Prefecture were brought to the area and this marked the beginning of porcelain making in Tobe. From the end of the 19th century, there was an increase in the production of tableware for export to South East Asia. After the Second World War, however, things were to change. With advise from Soetsu Yanagi, the leader of the folkcraft movement, the area turned from the mass production of ceramics to the making of porcelain preserving the handmade, hand painted traditions of its roots.
Making the most of the warm qualities of the base material derived from locally obtained porcelain stone, this practical yet appealing ware is characterized by the tableware with its bold handpainted designs in a blue glaze, and the celadon porcelain flower vases with their soft coloring obtained by using a natural ash. Today there are 89 firms employing 452 people, among whom there are 17 government recognized Master Craftsmen, all perpetuating this craft by making tableware, vases and a variety of ornaments.
- Iyo Ceramics Association
- 604 Ominami, Tobe-cho,
Iyo-gun, Ehime Prefecture
Website : http://www.tobeyaki.org/