Hasami Porcelain | Melding Beauty and Tradition for Modern Living
The historic village of Hasami in Nagasaki prefecture is steeped with a rich pottery-making tradition that spans over 400 years. As a leading pottery district in Japan, Hasami has produced some of the finest porcelainware in the country, and drawing from this rich tradition is contemporary porcelainware maker, Hasami Porcelain.
Hasami-yaki (波佐見焼) began mass production in the climbing kilns during the Edo period. Since its inception, Hasami-yaki has served the needs of everyday people. Rejecting the grand ornamentation associated with traditional porcelainware, Hasami craftsmen opted instead to cultivate an aesthetic that placed its emphasis on daily use. Among the designs produced were the “Kurawanka” - a multipurpose, durable bowl made for eating rice, drinking soup and sake. While Hasami-yaki has historically been overshadowed by its neighbouring counterpart Arita-yaki, it established its own artistic identity that is now recognized worldwide.
Drawing on four centuries of expertise, Hasami Porcelain innovatively blends tradition and function with respect to the heritage of Hasami. Blending traditional glazing techniques with locally sourced natural stones and clay, the result is an organic texture that appeals to our sense of touch.
The modular forms of Hasami Porcelain are inspired by the Japanese jubako (meaning “stacked boxes") - a tiered lacquerware that has been used throughout the centuries in ceremonial functions and celebratory meals. On New Years, jubako boxes are used in the traditional feast called Osechi Ryori. Each dish holds a symbolic meaning, and each box is stacked to bestow good fortune for the new year. Taking this tradition of the modular and stackable forms of the jubako, each element of Hasami Porcelain is multifunctional - whether it be the lids that double as coasters or plates that can be repurposed as trays. All items are made with a set dimension to ensure ease of storage and beauty of harmony, making it ideal for the modern home.
The amalgamation of function and beauty makes for a reliable design that ensures long-lasting use and timeless beauty. In an age of machinery where mass production gives way to standardized beauty, Hasami Porcelain reminds us of the beauty in the ordinary and the warmth of the human hand.
Photo Credit to Hasami Porcelain