Saga is well-known for pottery and porcelain and Imari and Arita are particularly famous for the industry. The origin of porcelain making in the area dates back to the Hideyoshi Toyotomi‘s invasion of Korea. The battle lasted for 7 years and ended when Hidetoshi died. Many warlords took Korean potters to Japan. Naoshige Nabeshima of Saga Domain was also among such warlords. In 1616, a potter, Ri Sampei is said to have come to Arita and found white magnetite in Izumi Mountain, and made the first porcelain in Japan. Many potters from Korea settled in Arita and kept absorbing new knowledge of and improving their technique and method of porcelain making. In 1646, Sakaida Kakiemon I succeeded in painting patters on porcelains with colors of red, green and yellow and created colored porcelain for the first time in Japan. As the late 17th century saw the decline of porcelain industry in Jingdezhen, which was known for the best manufacturing skills and quality of porcelains, the Dutch East India Company (VOC for short) started to come to Saga around 1650 to purchase and import the porcelains. Thus, porcelain of Arita spread in the European societies of royalties and notabilities. As the porcelain made in Arita Sarayama Area was shipped from Imari Port, the porcelain of Arita started to be called Imari porcelain or simply Imari. The Old Imari in Europe was mainly used for the purpose of interior decoration of a palace. Augustus II the Strong was especially known as a fanatic collector of the old Imari and even sold his own army to get the porcelain. He ordered development of porcelain in Meissen, which led to the opening of many porcelain kilns in the area. Old Imari have been influencing porcelain industries around the world. Porcelains of Imari and Arita, which have developed over 400 years of history, are classified into three categories; The Old Imari, Kakiemon and Nabeshima. Its variety of styles ranging from everyday dishware to art objects, white beautiful surface, the gorgeous painting, the usability and durability have attracted a lot of fans. In Saga, there are many places you can get close to their beauty.
|Address||Arita-cho, Matsuura-gun, Saga (佐賀県松浦郡有田町)|
|Contact||Imari City Tourism Office:
Arita City Commerce & Tourism Office:
|Local Information||Imari Porcelains / Arita Porcelains|