"Ko-Imari Ware" Exhibition

Toguri Museum of Art

poster for "Ko-Imari Ware" Exhibition

This event has ended.

Imari ware was Japan's first porcelain, first manufactured at the beginning of the 17th century in and around the town of Arita in modern day Saga prefecture using techniques introduced by Korean ceramicists brought to Japan during Toyotomi Hideyoshi's Korean campaigns (1592-1598). Modelled after the Chinese porcelain that was so highly valued at the time, Imari ware soon permeated Japanese upper class society. At first the emphasis was on producing blue-and-white sometsuke ware, but innovations in technology in the mid 17th century enabled local ceramicists to master the technique of iro-e overglaze enamelling, which led to the production of colorfully decorated porcelain. In the late 17th century, iro-e ware found its way into Europe as it developed into a major export industry at the end of the Age of Discovery. Porcelain production techniques also became more sophisticated in response to domestic and overseas demand. By the mid 18th century, however, exports of Imari ware were gradually declining, and the demand for new markets led to the spread of Imari ware among the general populace of Japan, enabling production to continue throughout the Edo period.

This exhibition traces in an easy-to-follow way the changing fortunes of old Imari ware as it underwent changes to reflect the times and in response to demand.

[Image: Peach-shaped water jar, “Mizusashi”, decorated with pine tree, bamboo and plum design in underglaze blue. Imari ware. Edo period. Early 17th century. Height: 16.2cm]

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From 2010-10-03 To 2010-12-23

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