History of Akahada Yama-Motogama.

Gyozo Furuse Nakano-Kama ,JIHEI

Akahada-yaki is probably the most famous traditional folk art in Nara City.

The whole Akahada area has a large deposit of good quality clay which contains a considerable amount of Red Iron Oxide. gAkahada-yamah literally means gmountain of red clay showing on the surface of a hillh. According to ancient texts, the red hillside of Akahada-yama could be seen from The Heijo, which was the capital of Japan around 1300 years ago. Several ceramic utensils from the ruins of former Imperial Heijokyu (Heijo Palace) were an exact match to ones that were found in the Akahada area.


Akahada-Pottery,Gyozo (Jihei) Furuse made in Nara,Japan,

The documented history of Akahada-yaki begins in 1573. The Lord of Koriyama Castle, Hidenaga Toyotomi (Hideyoshi Toyotomi`s younger brother) invited Yokuro, a master potter from Tokoname Pottery to start producing pottery to cater for the needs of tea ceremonies.

In 1781, Akhada Pottery has separated into three locations: the West, the Middle and the East. The Furuse Akahadayama -Motogama family has operated in the Middle for eight generations, pioneered by Jihei Furuse, a notable potter from Kyoto. He was appointed to the kiln by Gyozan Yangisawa, the Lord of Koriyama Castle, and was granted the stamp of Akahada which is used to this day by the Furuse family and enabled the head of the family to use the name Gyozo as named after the Lord who granted it.

Mokuhaku Okuda, a wealthy and talented merchant, was also a notable tea master of the nearby city of Koriyama, worked in the Akahada kiln in the mid 1800`s. His work involved various utensils and tea ceremony installments. The quality of his work and his market skills made Akahada-yaki widely known. The press moulds he designed and made are still in the Furuse family`s possession.

The 7th generation Gyozo Furuse has made pottery and manages the kiln on the original site for decades. He is a graduate of Kyoto City University of Arts (1959). Exposed to modern technology and ideas and he was able to infuse these inspirations into with family tradition into his creations. The simplicity of form complemented with a highly traditionalrice straw ash glaze and firing in traditional Noborigama( wood climing kiln) .The resultin pieces have themselves a timeless,subtle and uniquely indefinable beauty enjoyed and admired by those fortunate enough to experience them.Gyozo Furuse`s masterpieces are not considerd so throgh showiness,but rather follow the philosophy of Wabi Sabi, having made everyday wares with the utmost of care,such as the subtle beauty and calm surrounding his tea ceremony installments.Currently,the 8th generation Furuse ceramict in carrying out th family traditions and prececding generations@ work.

In 2007, under the Law for the Protection of Cultural Properties, the Cultural Affairs Department of the Japanese National Government announced that three architectural structures at Akahadayama- Motogama (Historical Akahada Pottery),owned by 7th generation Gyozo Furuse, were recognized as Registered Tangible Cultural Properties. This means that these structures are now officially recognized as properties that hold historical and cultural significance by the Japanese Government. The registered structures are a large-scale wood-firing kiln (Edo period), a medium scale wood firing kiln (early Shouwa period), the showroom (Meiji period) and the old workshop. It was also found that the showroom was builtthrough western structural methods in the Meiji period.

Would you like to experience Akahada Pottery?

You can draw your own words and your favorite picture on the surface of Akahada pottery bisque ware using Black Iron Oxide. There are selection of bisqued ware available for the base of your unique art work..

 Bookings Essential  :Ph 0742-45-4517 Fax 0742-45-6726.
How to Access E-mail akahada@kcn.ne.jp

Facilities (Shop , studio,kiln)

NARA-EiNara Drawing) .WORK of Akahadayama - Motogama @

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