Kutaniyaki, Shigarakiyaki, Bizenyaki, Hagiyaki, Aritayaki, Imariyaki... you can find celebrated local ceramic traditions all around Japan.
But don’t overlook lesser-known Hasamiyaki ceramics. Hasami is located close to Arita and Imari, but not nearly as famous. The reason for this is because Hasamiyaki is noted for its large-lot production. Its manufacturers historically focused on mass-market ceramic products for ordinary Japanese people.
Hasamiyaki developed division of labor for mass production. Specialists in each process — such as mold making, greenware forming, drawing, and kiln firing — were trained and nurtured in the Hasamiyaki tradition. As a result, Hasami ceramic workshops had the experience to take over subcontract work for Aritayaki factories.
Until the 19th century, what was called Imariyaki included any ceramic product shipped through Imari Port. Then, after the latter half of the 19th century when land transportation improved, all ceramics from Arita were called Aritayaki. In fact, Hasamiyaki ceramics were included among these acclaimed products. Thus, Hasamiyaki quality was by no means inferior to Aritayaki and Imariyaki.
Today, Hasami craftsmen are recognized for their own artistic identity, and are seeking to elevate the value of Hasamiyaki products. While their traditional porcelains are fine quality, the HASAMI brand developed by a generation of young artisans has taken the spotlight.
Their distinctive division of labor is a great advantage in bringing optimal teamwork to versatile craftsmanship. Trained in subcontracting and attentive to quality, this free-spirited group of artisans has survived many years of challenges. They aren’t limited to old ideas and welcome new opportunities. Indeed, Hasamiyaki is both old and new — a Japanese brand for the future.
Note: Products of Maruhiro are not available in Mitsukoshi or Isetan.