池田匡優 南蛮陶を求めて




The characters for Namban mean “barbarians to the South”, and refers to the peoples of southern China, Viet Nam, Thailand and the rest of Indochina.
Namban pottery then is a generic term for unglazed wood-fired pottery imported to Japan during the 16th and 17th centuries through trade with these countries, as well as the Philippines and islands of the South Pacific.
In this respect we find great differences in the quality and textures of the clays used, with finished colors ranging from deep browns to light oranges.
About the only thing Namban pieces have in common is that they are unglazed and wood-fired.

Namban pottery possesses its own special charm, distinct from Bizen, Shigaraki, Iga and other traditional Japanese wood-fired ceramic styles. Its underlying simplicity came to be highly regarded by practitioners of the tea ceremony as an expression of “sabi”.

Modern day Namban pottery is wood-fired for several days, generally in a long, narrow “snake” or “tunnel” kiln, and captures the beauty and charm of traditional Namban pieces.