The origins of Mikawachi Yaki date back to the building of a kiln by Korean potters that were brought back to this area of Kyushu by landowners who had taken part in Toyotomi Hideyoshi's campaign to the Korean Peninsular at the end of the 16th century.
The kiln here was used to fire porcelain for the Hirado clan up to the Meiji Restoration in 1868. As well as running the kiln, the Hirado clan was responsible for finding porcelain clay at nearby Amakusa and for the rapid development of skills and techniques, which are till alive today.
This ware is characterized by its over painting of cobalt on a white porcelain. Ever since the kiln was first fired, pieces were sent as tributes to both the court and warrior families and as a consequence, this china is of the highest quality, whether it be for everyday use or a special decorative item. The degree of care to produce items of such beauty and the delicacy of the work are part of its well established reputation. A great deal of tableware is being produced for use at some of Japan's finest restaurants. Items for use at the tea ceremony are also being made along with incense burner, sake flasks and vases.
Mikawachi Yaki features gosu (cobalt blue) painting on a white porcelain. They are always created as luxury goods high quality enough to be conceded to the Emperor and the Shogun ever since the opening of the kiln. The products are reputed for its delicate elegance and sophistication.
How to make
Pottery stones in Amakusa region are used for its raw material. They are biscuit-fired at around 900℃ after shaped through wheel throwing, hand-twisting, casting and other methods. The biscuit is baked again at 1,300℃ after painted by gosu and gloss is applied.