Outing: Hosokawa Bizen-yaki Pottery studio

Bizen yaki kiln

Along our adventures, we went to the notable pottery town of Bizen to visit master potter Hosokawa-san (you may recall he was commissioned to create 142 custom sake cups for our wedding party). He was having a studio day as part of some village campaign. They are great folks and have a son around Ichiro’s age that he’s yet to meet.

Note that Bizen is one of six historic ceramic centres in Japan noted for its no glaze, multi-day, wood-fired style. The pots are often nested within each other and stuffed with straw which, along with the intense heat, creates the unique colouring and patterns on the rather rustic and rugged looking ceramic. The clay fires so hard that even a relatively thin bowl is quite strong.

Various ceramics for sale were set up in the front of the studio and we bought a couple of gifts… Of course we always want to keep for ourselves but you know how goes.

First off though, a trip to a nearby park nestled amongst some trains to run around a little bit.

Came across a gang of bikers but fortunately, no incidents occurred.

Bizen renegades, parking bikes then heading to the river

Crossed the river with its brick and embankments which has been providing water for well I don’t know, a long time, but also a funplace for kids to play (i guess) check those stairs.

Just follow the arrows and you’ll find your Way.

this sign is perfect

Of course we took some snaps with the family and Ichiro’s favourite part of the trip which was getting a spin on a six passenger tuk-tuk which the village was using to transport guests around to the various ceramic studios.

I especially like that ceramics are included all over the town including in the earth and walls, street curbs, mailboxes and so on giving the village are really distinct personality.

Pots pots everywhere for everything

PS in the “pending posts” dossier is documentation of visiting Hosokawa’s kiln during the middle of the night firing when our aforementioned wedding cups were going through their process. Anyhow, a note to self to post that one of these days in the meantime, enjoy these snaps of this excursion.

Note: Recently dug out a “ruggedized” Olympus camera from wife’s stash, found a cord and a memory chip and put it back into service >> Lots of onboard effects and variations in settings and importantly allows me to go out and document life without my fully functional pocket robot of distractions.

Photo experiments follow:

Whatcha think?