Kagoshima, Japan | Satsuma-Yaki

Satsuma Yaki 6

Satsuma-yaki is a type of pottery distinct to Kagoshima. The style is muted, and simple. They resemble the folk crafts of old. Yanagi Soetsu, a great promoter of the mingei or folk art craft movement in Japan, admired satsuma-yaki. I visited two different potters in Kagoshima. One making a more simple rustic style, and the other the ryumonji or drip-glaze style.

Satsuma Yaki 1

This piece is called “shark skin”. Just look at this incredible texture, its like a living organism.

Satsuma Yaki 7

A modern gas fired kiln in a very small workspace. But the woman who does this pottery is very gifted. Some of the most unique and rustic work I have ever seen.
Satsuma Yaki 5

“Climbing kiln” or in Japanese noborigama. This one dates back to Edo period, but has not been used in many years due to the intense labor, and its status as a prefectural cultural treasure.

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