Kamagaki no Komichi Museum


2018.07.26

NAVITIME TRAVEL EDITOR

The history of ceramics production in Seto has filled volumes. It is a history that spans centuries, beginning with the discovery that the clay of the nearby hills produces excellent ceramic—and nearly ended with an industrial boom-and-bust that began in the early-20th century. Today, local craftspeople and museums like Kamagaki no Komichi keep alive the tradition. Visitors can walk the path of the craftspeople that built the city, and see the home of a potter as it would have looked over a century ago.

  • From central Owari-Seto Station, the museum can be reached with a walk through town. Pick up an area map at the station and plot your route: perhaps a stroll along the Yada River and a stop at Seto-Gura Museum, or maybe a detour to the Suehirocho shotengai to browse the shops and take a break in a coffee shop. Not accounting for stops along the way, the walk to hilly Nakaboracho district takes about twenty minutes.

    Kamagaki no Komichi Museum

    Kamagaki no Komichi Museum

    The path up to the main buildings was once the main drag of a bustling stoneware village. Tools, ceramics and items from the kilns have been repurposed as building materials for the wall, creating unique panels to examine along the way. The wall stretches unevenly along the path, for about a quarter mile.

    Kamagaki no Komichi Museum

    Kamagaki no Komichi Museum

    Further up the path sits the Hongyo-gama Kiln, one of the many kilns that produced stoneware in Nakaboracho. It was from those kilns that craftsmen brought their products down this path to the center of Seto. In the difficult years when industrial production overtook artisanal producers, the number of families earning a living from the clay and kilns declined, but some continued producing the local stoneware.

    Kamagaki no Komichi Museum

    Kamagaki no Komichi Museum

    From the nearby kilns, families produced the hongyo-yaki stoneware that earned the district’s families a livelihood. The area was known for that simple stoneware with muted glazes which continues to be prized as tableware and tiles. This traditional home was once the residence of the Terada family, and representative of how well-to-do artisans in Nakaboracho lived at the turn of the last century.

    Kamagaki no Komichi Museum

    Kamagaki no Komichi Museum

    A section of the traditional dwelling has been converted into a gallery, showing products made in the area in years gone by. Although Seto’s ceramics industry was later dominated by large-scale manufacturing, many of the smaller producers were seventh and eighth generation craftspeople. This is a chance to step back in time and imagine oneself as a guest in the home of a local artisan.

    Kamagaki no Komichi Museum

    Kamagaki no Komichi Museum

    The museum’s showpiece is rather unassuming: a toilet. But what it illustrates about the time and place it was manufactured is illuminating. Although the West had developed a hunger for Eastern porcelain—later, an early case of industrial espionage led to Western countries producing their own—the idea of a ceramic toilet was one innovation that flowed in the other direction. Perhaps presaging the nation’s later fixation on toilet technology, this modest throne, fired from sometsuke ceramic was clearly a status symbol for a well-to-do artisan family. Unlike Marcel Duchamp's urinals, visitors are advised that this toilet did indeed see several years’ service as the family latrine.

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    จังหวัดไอจิเมืองเซโตนาคาโบระโจ
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    0561852730
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