okiboy novelties and collectibles

Tobe Porcelain

砥部焼 (Tobeyaki)


The largest kiln in Shikoku is located in the village of Tobe, situated to the south of Matsuyama (Ehime Prefecture). The name Tobe is derived from the whetstones (to-shi) produced there. The production of porcelain, for which Tobe is known today, began in 1777 on instructions from Lord Ozu, with construction of a kiln in Gohonmatsu-kanbara by Sugino Josuke. After discover of high-grade porcelain stone (Kawanobori-toseki), which is still in used today near Tobe, it became possible to make sometsuke porcelain with an almost pure white body and delicate brushwork for tableware and tea ceremony utensils. In the early twentieth century, demand fell because of a drop in quality caused by the introduction of industrial mass production. In 1926, Yanagi Soetsu founded the Mingei (Japanese folk art) Movement in an effort to revitalize Japanese crafts that were lost due to industrialization. In 1953, Soetsu visited Tobe area and recommended the production of thick-walled vessels with simple brushwork in mingei style. By the 1960s, production of Tobe style ceramics was once again on sound economic footing. See Anneliese Crueger, Wulf Crueger, and Saeko Ito. "Modern Japanese Ceramics". Lark Books, New York (2007). p 94.

Five 2" TOBE Style Mingei Japanese Pottery CHOKO Sake Cups by Sagawa Ceramics



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