Kutani-yaki (ware): This term was beginning around 1803, but only the original, ko-Kutani (old Kutani) was actually made at the Kutani kiln in Kutani, Ishikawa Prefecture. This ware is famous for its distinctive five-color palette of red, green, yellow, purple and Prussian blue, rendered in bold designs of over-glaze enamels.
The motifs are first outlined with cobalt blue, black, and iron red, and then enamels are applied over them. After firing, the glasslike transparency of the colors allows the under-drawing to become part of the design.
In the mid 17th century, Maeda Toshiharu (1618-1660), head of the Daishouji clan, found kaolinic clay for making porcelain in his domain in Kutani. Maeda's retainer Goto Saijiro set up kilns in the villages of Kutani and Suisaka to make tea-ceremony utensils. Goto's son Tadakiyo was sent to Arita in Kyushu to learn porcelain-making techniques. He returned with an exiled potter from Ming China, and together they produced what is now termed ko-Kutani.
Around 1694 the Kutani kilns fell into disuse until 1804, when Aoki Mokube (1767-1833) came to Kutani and fired a kiln in Kasugayama. His work inspired the construction of kilns in surrounding areas and re-established Kutani-yaki, the so-called saiko Kutani (revised Kutani). Kutani ware was heavily exported to Europe beginning at the end of the 19th centurry.
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