The origins of Imari Arita Yaki date back to the end of the 16th century when the Saga clan, which had been involved in Toyotomi Hideyoshi's campaigns in Korea, brought back the potter, Li Sanpei who discovered porcelain stone at Mount Arita Izumi, in northern Kyushu. The porcelain that was subsequently made there was the first to be produced anywhere in Japan and was originally called Imari Yaki, simply because it was shipped through the port of Imari.
There are a number of different qualities ranging from a simple blue and white ware to pieces over-glazed with brilliant colors. Out of the number of styles including Koimari, Kakiemon, Kinrande and Nabesima, it was the beauty of the Koimari and Kakiemon porcelains which really appealed to people in Europe. In fact, during the Edo period (1600-1868), large quantities of Imari Arita Yaki was exported through the trading facilities retained exclusively by the Dutch in Japan.
Today as in the past, many fine pieces of Japanese and Western tableware are being produced along side some decorative items. Inevitably, however, it is the brilliance of the enamels and the beautiful white surfaces as well as its practicality, which continue to characterize Japan's most famous porcelain.
Imari Yaki and Arita Yaki are porcelains known by its beautiful white texture, glamorous paintings and also usability and durability as tablewares.
How to make
Crushed powder of pottery stone is mixed with water to make the clay. The clay is molded or wheel-throwed into a shape and biscuit-fired at low temperature. It is baked again with high temperature (around 1,300℃) in the kiln after painting and glossing are applied. When creating a multi-colored painting, it will be repeatedly baked after applying each color.