Bizen ware is a traditional ceramic ware produced in Bizen province, Okayama, Japan.
It is one of Japan's oldest potteries with a history of over 1,000 years. Bizen ware is shaped using natural clay and fired in the kiln without glaze. Bizen ware appearance is traditionally rustic, heavy and thick.
In the Muromachi period (1338-1573), Bizen became the most popular ceramic in Japan. In the Momoyama period, the great lord Toyotomi Hideyoshi and great tea master Sen no Rikyu both loved Bizen ware and greatly supported it. Many tea ware masterpieces were made during this period.
In the Edo period (1603-1868), porcelain was introduced to Japan and became popular. Ikeda Mitsumasa, the feudal lord of the Okayama domain began to protect Bizen ware. He created Shizutani school for the purpose of educating people. The roofs of the school were made of ware and the auditorium is designated as a national treasure.
Former Shizutani school in Bizen, Okayama
Due to the 8-14 day wood firing, the internal temperature of the kiln reaches approximately 1250°C (2282°F), which creates metallic gloss on the surface with traces of molten ash. The Bizen ware increases its gloss and smoothness after a long period of daily use.
The Benefits of Bizen ware
・Warm stays warm & cold stays cold.
Because of its tightly condensed structure, Bizen ware has a higher specific heat capacity resulting in holding cold well.
・Creates fine foams in beer.
Bizen ware has an uneven surface on a small scale, which enhances foaming. The creamy and long-lasting foam retains a pleasant aroma and enhances hop aroma.