香皿 京燒 清水燒
“Kyoyaki” and “Kiyomizuyaki” are two of the traditional crafts of Kyoto, Japan. “Kyoyaki” is a general term for ceramics produced in Kyoto, while “Kiyomizuyaki” specifically refers to ceramics produced along the approach to Kiyomizu Temple on Gojozaka hill. However, the production process of Kyoto ceramics is not as strict as that of traditional ceramics from other regions. There are no specific requirements for the quality of the clay used or fixed techniques. The flexible production methods were developed to meet the needs of the aristocrats, tea masters, and other people who gathered in Kyoto at that time. In the early days of Kyoto, people mined clay and used it to produce different types of ceramics such as “Awata-yaki” and “Kiyomizuyaki”. These ceramics produced in Kyoto were collectively referred to as “Kyoyaki”. Over time, only Kiyomizuyaki has been preserved, and thus “Kyoyaki” is now often used interchangeably with “Kiyomizuyaki”.
The popularity of tea ceremonies in the Azuchi-Momoyama period (1568-1600) led to the production of craft items such as tea utensils and fans, as well as a flourishing of ceramic production in Kyoto. Many kilns began producing ceramics such as Awata-yaki and Raku-yaki, which are said to be the origins of “Kyoyaki.”
During the Edo period (1603-1868), many famous pottery artists such as Nonomura Ninsei and Ogata Kenzan emerged, and the value of “Kyoyaki” gradually increased. In the Meiji period (1868-1912), Kyoyaki and Kiyomizu-yaki began to expand into overseas markets and incorporated new techniques and styles, resulting in more attractive works.
The characteristics of Kyoyaki and Kiyomizu-yaki are their high-level techniques and fully handcrafted production, emphasizing traditional delicate features. During the period when Kyoto was the capital of Japan, it attracted excellent craftsmen from all over the country to hone their skills, which is still a source of pride for Kyoyaki and Kiyomizu-yaki today. Kyoyaki and Kiyomizu-yaki do not have fixed techniques or features; they incorporate various techniques, and the works produced by different craftsmen have different styles and characteristics.
In summary, Kyoyaki and Kiyomizu-yaki are ceramic art forms in the Kyoto region of Japan with a long history that still maintain traditional techniques and spirit, and are highly regarded around the world.