A Guide to "Takatori-Yaki"("Takatori-Ware")

A Message from the Head Family in charge of "Takatori-Yaki"

The history of " Takatori-Yaki ",which enjoyed the privilege of being a patronized kiln of the
Kuroda Clan in Chikuzen , begins in 1600 when the " Eimanji Kiln " was completed at the
southern foot of Mt.Takatoriyama, presently licated on the outskirts of the city of Nogata
in Fukuoka Prefecture.
The " Eimanji Kiln " was built by Hachizan, who established Takatori-Yaki. The first
generation Hachizan was Hachizo Shigesada . Hachizo Shigesada was promoted to the rank
of samurai and recieved, from Nagamasa of the House of Kuroda who had entered the
province of Chikuzen, the family name of " Takatori ", taken from the mountain, " Takatoriyama ".
After recieving the family name of " Takatori ", Hachizan moved to Uchigaiso in 1614 and
produced his works from the " Uchigaiso Kiln " for a period of 10 years. It was during the
latter part of his days at the Uchigaiso Kiln that his style changed from being clear and
vigorous, to being refind. Receiving supervision from Kobori Masakazu , who taught
Iemitsu , the third Tokugawa Shogun , the " Enshu School " of solemn tea preparation, Hachizan
went on as the head of " Enshu Nanagama kilns " to produce many masterpieces. He
then moved his kiln to Shirahatayama (presently Koubukuro in the City of Iizuka) and
lived there until his death.
In 1665, Hachizo Sadaaki , the 2nd generation of the Hachizan Family, built the " Tsuzumi
Gama " in Tsuzumimura Village of Joza-Gun . The location is where the head family to the
" Takatori-yaki " presently resides. In 1716, the " Higashi Sarayama Kiln " in Soharamura
Village of Sawara-gun ( presently Sawara-ku in the City of Fukuoka ) was opened by
Genbei Katsutosi . There , he began the practice of working from both kilns by residing at
the " Tsuzumi Gama " six months out of the year. This practice continued as it waas passed
on through generations until 1870 , when Japan abolished the feudal clan system.
In this way , Takatori-Yaki , cultivated through long tradition , has been a secret art , passed
on from father to son , from generation to generation. We deeply believe that in the future ,
we must come up with new creative works while protecting our tradition in a way which
will not disgrance our ancestors. To accomplish this , we ask for your continuing cooperation
and support.
13th. Hachizan Takatori