With a lengthy history of more than 1,300 years, Mino ceramics is thought to have its roots beginning from the late Kofun period of the 7th century in the Tono region of the Gifu Prefecture. This is when hard Seuki (unglazed ware) were fired in anagama kilns (an ancient style of mountainside kilns). Now, Mino ware (or “Mino yaki 美濃焼” in Japanese), refers to pottery made mainly in the eastern Gifu Prefecture. More specifically in the towns of Tajimi, Toki, Mizunami, and Kani. According to the Gifu Economic and Industrial Promotion Center, about half of Japan’s total ceramic production is considered to be Mino ware.
While the inception of Mino ceramics dates back to more than a thousand years ago, the popularity of them started around World War I. During the war, European countries weren’t able to export the amount of ceramics they did globally due to limited manufacturing. This led to a spike in Japanese exports. At this point in time, the southeastern Gifu area was already known for their ceramics industry. The culmination of all this progress resulted in Mino ware being designated as a traditional Japanese craft in 1978.
Naturally, with so many years since its birth, Mino ware isn’t confined to a single style — instead, it has over 15. One notable type is called “Oribe”, which was based on the aesthetics of Oribe Furuta (a disciple of an influential master of the tea ceremony, Sen no Rikyu). The Oribe has a deep green glaze along with a unique form and geometrical patterns. The next notable style is the “Setoguro”. The Setoguro is covered in an all-black glaze and is taken out of the kiln while it’s hot and red. “Shino” has design patterns underneath its glaze. In the 1573-1600 period, Shino’s golden age, it drew appeal with its beautiful light, crimson color, and bubbly texture. “Kizeto” has recently received renewed attention with its humble and simple form.
Mino ware is loved by so many all over the world. That includes us! We at Mogutable appreciate the history, beauty, diversity, and functionality of the Mino products that come through our store, and into your hands.
Our Mino Ware: