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Bizen Ware

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.

Momono Trading represents a talented creator with 40  years of experience and a 3rd generation Bizen ware artisan, Seiji Nanba developed his own style of Bizen ware with a smooth, light and elegant appearance.  This style is considered a new wave or rebellious in an industry that dates back to the 12th century. Nanba has been questioning why Bizen ware pieces are treated as expensive artistic décor rather than every day dining ware in spite of practical functionalities that make our dining experience enjoyable.  His simple and elegant style originates from his wish to make Bizen everyday ware dining ware.