Japanese pottery, or toki, differs from Japanese porcelain in that it's made from earthenware or stoneware rather than a hard-paste clay body designed to be fired at temperatures in excess of 2,300 degrees Fahrenheit and ring like a bell when struck. Kyoyaki pottery from Kyoto includes low-fired tea bowls called Rakuyaki, as well as elaborately painted sake bottles and plates bearing scenes of festivals and nature. Satsuma pottery originated in the southern province of Kyushu, where the crackled-glaze vases, trays, and jars were exported in great numbers to the West.

Other types of Japanese pottery include Bizen stoneware, whose earthy colors and surfaces reflect the landscape of the Okayama Prefecture where it’s made. Historically, much of Japan’s tableware has been produced in Seto north of Nagoya. Examples of Seto stoneware include bud vases, plates, and rice bowls, with gently geometric and even abstract glazes in soft hazels and browns. And in the Mashiko region northeast of Tokyo, a community of craft potters working in a rustic style carry on the mingei tradition of folk art.


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