KIYOHARU ICHINO: Land of Red Waves

Wood-fired Ceramic Bowl
Contemporary Tanba Pottery by Kiyoharu Ichino

Wood-fired Ceramic Vase, Two Views
Contemporary Tanba Pottery by Kiyoharu Ichino

Wood-fired Ceramic Bowl
Contemporary Tanba Pottery by Kiyoharu Ichino

"Nestled in a beautiful valley along the Shitodani River among towering mountains northwest of Kyoto is the picturesque village Tachikui, the historic center of Tanba pottery. The rich ferrous soil in this area has supported generations of farmers and artisans since the early Kamakura period (1180-1230). The oldest existing noborigama (climbing kiln) in Japan is here. This serene locale is home of some of the most beautiful ceramics that have influenced aesthetic development in Japan and the western world. Tanba, Tan meaning red and Ba meaning waves, or Land of Red Waves, got its name from a red rice grown in ancient time which turned the fields into seas of red.

Because of its relative isolation, Tanba is less influenced by outside commercial trends than some other more accessible pottery towns in Japan. Old Tanba pottery had a restrained dignified appearance, exuding quiet confidence that reflected its proud heritage. This unique quality is evident in the works of contemporary Tanba ceramist Kiyoharu Ichino

KIYOHARU ICHINO was born in 1957 in Tachikui into a family of traditional pottery-makers. He learned all aspects of Tanba pottery since childhood. His works have been selected repeatedly by the prestigious juried Japan Crafts Association. Traditional Tanba pottery is fired unglazed at very high temperature in large wood-fueled kilns. Ichino uses both an anagama (hole kiln) and a noborigama (climbing kiln), burning almost a thousand bundles of wood over several days to bring out the unique personalities of Tanba clay, which is renowned for its rich texture and deep purplish brown colors. Many of his pieces show silvery fire-marks left by the wood fire. To show the unique clay texture, he often includes seemingly unfinished edges in his designs, exposing the rough clay body. Despite the high level of sophistication and innovation, Ichino's works maintain a strong connection with the ancient Tanba pottery tradition." (from Touching Stone Gallery)

Also View Yoshitaka Hasu Masterworks

Touching Stone Gallery, Santa Fe, NM


Bea said...

Absolutely gorgeous pottery. :)Bea


what absolutely exquisitely beautiful pieces - just breathtaking! and such an accompanying story as well! great great post - the all of it!

Caio Fern said...

Japanese ceramic in general is really special ... always deep and authentic in every detail ....
here in Sao Paulo , because the huge Japanese colony ( biggest out of Japan )we have the bless of to keep and have this tradition in our every day lifes .
these works you posted are incredible .

amatamari© said...

Wow a beautiful post!

ii-ne-kore said...


Bhavesh Chhatbar said...

Very nice post

Photos from Kas Plateau