Shiraiwa Ware

The first kiln for Shiraiwa (Kakunodate) ware was created in 1771 by Matsumoto Unshichi, a potter from Souma in today’s Fukushima Prefecture. Unshichi’s disciples then built new kilns one after another from the 1780s to the 1860s, which marked the golden age of Shiraiwa Seto-yama.
Under the protection of the Akita feudal clan, the offerings and daily necessities made by Shiraiwa Seto-yama extended their market to other clans. As a result, Shiraiwa Seto-yama became one of the best producing areas in Tohoku, together with Aizu-hongou and Iwashiro-souma.
However, in the Meiji era, the industry deteriorated as products from other areas became popular due to changing economics and development in transportation. Furthermore, an earthquake in 1896 devastated the Shiraiwa area, and the industry that lasted for 130 years ended.
The current Shiraiwa Ware was revived in 1974 by the Living National Treasure Syoji Hamada and his son Shisaku.
There are three kilns, including a revived ascending kiln. Each of them follows the traditional Shiraiwa Ware method while using a unique Namako glaze to produce one-of-a-kind works.