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yamamaru koishiwara japan

yamamaru  ヤママル窯

YAMA-MARU Kiln locates deep in the mountain of Koishiwara Sarayama. Master ceramist Jiro Kajiwara (13th generation) and eldest son Hizuru Kajiwara (14th generation) work relentlessly to carry-on the 350-year-old tradition of Koishiwara pottery. 

Their kiln symbol (the reverse "V", and the "circle")  represents their kiln location, an old way to communicate an address.  It was said because their kiln locates on the top end of the village lane, they became known as YAMA (mountain) MARU (zero). The next kiln was named YAMA (mountain) ICHI (one), so on and so forth. 


Appreciate the SHOKUNIN (Japanese artisan) culture:  Discipline & Dedication 

All items are made by hand with inherited skills, diligently using local natural material and traditional hand-tools.  Yamamaru draws inspiration from and celebrate the beauty of the village's natural surroundings.  Reeds become their thatched roof, straw from harvested rice becomes brushes and slip glazes, and pottery produced by skillful and hardworking hands

turns into humble tableware for everyday-use. 


koishiwara ware

用の美  ”Beauty of Functionality"

Interview with Hizuru Kajiwara

14th generation Master Ceramist of Yamamaru Kiln

Koishiwara is a small village in central Fukuoka, Kyushu.  Kilns originated in the 1600s and are still run by small families, passing down their skills and signature techniques from one generation to the next, dedicating their life in producing utilitarian pottery.  "Tobikanna", "Hakeme", "Yubikaki" are some of the techniques that Koishiwara artisans has perfected.

There are no better words to describe koishiwara-ware than "you no bi" 用の美 (Beauty of Functionality), as coined by Mingei Movement (民芸運動) instigator Soetsu Yanagi (柳宗悦) in the early 1920s. 

There are about 50 kilns in the village still actively producing everything by hand using traditional tools and local material.

Experience Koishiwara's "Beauty of Functionality" 

Hand-thrown by Kajiwara family