Mino-yaki (12)

Mino-yaki (12)
Mino ware. A general name for ceramic wares made in the town of Tajimi in old Mino province (now the south-eastern part of Gifu Prefecture). Sueki ware from the 7th century has been discovered in the area, but Mino was mentioned by name in 905 as a place for fine ash-glazed stoneware. During the Kamakura and Muromachi-eras the use of the potter's wheel and a greater variety of glazes created more sophisticated pottery. During the Momoyama-era, when the tea ceremony stimulated the production of tea wares, many Seto potters migrated from Owari province (Aichi Prefecture) to Mino to take advantage of its abundant clay and fuel as well as the patronage of Oda Nobunaga (1534-82), leading to the development of distinctive stonewares there. Glazed teabowls, based on Chinese prototypes but adopting Japanese aesthetics,were produced in great numbers. In the late Momoyama-era, the Mino potter Kato Kagenobu reportedly brought the secrets for producing karatsu-yaki to the Mino kilns, and from the 15th century Mino kilns produced Karatsu-style wares. The noborigama (climbing kiln) was introduced from Karatsu. At the same time, Mino kilns also made vessels in the style of iga-yaki. Mino wares include a range of shino-yaki and seto-yaki types, oribe-yaki, seiji (celadon), and ofuke ware made from senso-tsuchi (iron-rich clay) and covered with a wood-ash glaze that turns a transparent pale yellow when fired. White-glazed stonewares first satisfied the demand for Chinese underglaze-decorated porcelain. Porcelain was produced in Mino from the end of the 19th century. The excavation of Mino ceramics from daimyo residences throughout Japan testfies to their popularity.