Gifts Today magazine

Celebrating Arita-yaki pottery

To commemorate the 400th anniversary of Arita-yaki pottery, a restaurant has been set up to serve dishes on tableware produced by five masters of Arita-yaki pottery

In celebration of 400 years of Arita-yaki pottery, a restaurant has been specially created in Arita, Japan, in order to offer customers the chance to enjoy dishes on tableware produced by five masters of Arita-yaki pottery in Saga Prefecture.

Open through November 27, the Useum Arita restaurant has been organised by the Saga prefectural government.

The aim is to help people understand the history and charm of the traditional ceramics and porcelain through their five senses.

The featured potters include three living national treasures, or those designated important intangible cultural property: Manji Inoue, 87, a specialist in white ceramics; Hiroshi Nakashima, 74, a celadon potter; and Imaizumi Imaemon XIV, 53, a specialist in painted ceramics.

Also involved in the project are two of Saga’s trio of ‘emons,’ a term referring to three masters who share the same kanji characters in their names: Sakaida Kakiemon XV, 48, and Nakazato Tarouemon XIV, 59.

Useum Arita is housed in a 2,500 square meter glass-walled facility built on the premises of the prefectural government-run Kyushu Ceramic Museum.
Featuring plates of various sizes, rice bowls and tea cups made by the pottery masters, the restaurant offers a breakfast set and lunch sets.

The meals are prepared mainly with local ingredients, such as Saga Beef, seafood from the Ariake Sea and locally grown onions.

“The expression of the tableware changes when food is served on it,” Imaizumi says. “I hope that visitors can sense how different each pottery’s products are by feeling them with their own fingers.”

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