Karatsu-yaki is a style of pottery produced in and around Karatsu, Saga Prefecture, Japan. There are several variations produced in surrounding areas: Takeo Kokaratsu-yaki (produced in the adjoining city of Takeo), Taku Kokaratsu-yaki, and Hirado Kokaratsu-yaki. There are also varieties based on style: Painted Karatsu, Mottled Karatsu, and Chosen Karatsu. Karatsu ware is known for its sturdiness and simple style; and is considered a traditional Japanese handicraft.
Fired in climbing kilns, Karatsu ware is made from a clay high in iron and can be undecorated or decorated with an iron-based underglaze, giving an earthy, simple, and natural feeling to the pieces.
There is a famous ancient saying—First Raku, second Hagi, third Karatsu—when referring to ceramic ware used for the Japanese tea ceremony. It is considered one of the top styles of pottery for use in tea ceremonies in Japan.