Welcome to the web site of The Mashiko Tourist Association!
Mashiko’s main industry, pottery, attracts over two million visitors every year.
There are as many as 350 potteries and about 50 ceramic shops.
We are very pleased to introduce the fantastic works of various potters, who try to exert their individuality and uniqueness through their works, in this site.
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益子焼TOP

Yo no Bi

 
Mr. Shoji Hamada(1894-1978)
(In this Japanese name, the family name is Hamada.)
  Mr. Tatsuzo Shimaoka(1919-2007)
(In this Japanese name, the family name is Shimaoka.)

Mr. Shoji Hamada is a potter, who promoted the ‘Mingei’ Folk Art Movement.

“In Kyoto I found the way, in England I started, in Okinawa I learned, in Mashiko I grew mature.” ---he left this message.

1955      He was designated the first ‘The Important Intangible Cultural Heritage” (Living National Treasure).
1968      The Order of Culture was given to him.

 

He was best known for his unique ‘Jomon zogan’ style of pottery,

1946    He began his apprenticeship with Mr. Shoji Hamada.
1992    He was awarded by Japan Folk Crafts Museum.
1996      He was designated the ‘The Important Intangible Cultural Heritage”
(Living  National Treasure).


History of the Mashiko Pottery is said to have started in the late Edo period. A potter, whose name was Keizaburo Otsuka, built a kiln in Mashiko after learning pottery in Kasama then.
Since then, Mashiko began producing pottery necessary for daily life in Japan, such as bowls, pots for water and teapots. Mashiko became one of the leading pottery regions in Japan due to its excellent clay and relatively close location to the big Tokyo market.
In 1924, Mr. Shoji Hamada came to settle in Mashiko. He promoted the ‘Mingei’ Folk Crafts Movement with Mr. Soetsu Yanagi, who recognized ‘Yo no Bi’ or ‘beauty in Everyday Crafts’ strongly while influencing the other craftsmen living in Mashiko. Gradually people began to see pottery as ‘works of art’ as well as tools.
Today, there are about 380 potteries and 50 pottery shops.
Many potters, from freshmen to experts, set up their own kilns and create pottery in their own way.
Pottery Fairs have been held in spring and fall.