Masters of Arita Yaki - Part 3
ARITA PORCELAIN LAB
Founded in 1804, “Arita Porcelain Lab” is the modern brand name of the original Yazaemon Kiln, established over 200 years ago in Kamikohira Hizen Arita Sarayama. Since then, the tradition of Ko-imari style has been passed down through 7 generations.
Exponent of the last generation is Satoru Matsumoto who, after graduating from the Kyushu University Department of Economics, started to work at a bank. After 3 years, he took over the family business that, at the time, had a 2 billion yen debt. Satoru Matsumoto, in order to restore the business’s former glory, envisioned a way to blend tradition and innovation: establishing “Arita Porcelain Lab” he succeeded in producing a type of pottery suited to contemporary lifestyle and modern sensibilities. Among the most renowned pieces are those belonging to he Japan series, inspired by Japan’s four seasons: the white snow for winter; the pink cherry blossoms for spring; the blue waves for summer; the gold and red of the foliage for autumn. The “Japan Snow” collection has received the most attention, because of its glimmering matte platinum and white Japanese porcelain that evokes the image of powder snow, elegantly blended with traditional Japanese motifs:
Karakusa (唐草, “arabesque pattern” associated with longevity);
Seigaiha (青海波, “waves pattern” symbolizing surges of good luck);
Take (竹, “bamboo”, representing prosperity);
Hishi (菱, “water chestnut”, diamond-shaped pattern that symbolizes vitality and prosperity
Source: https://www.alexcious.com/brands/detail5.html, https://aritaporcelainlab.com/en/,
KIHARA CO., LTD.
Focusing on the production of Arita porcelain and Hasami ware, Kihara strives to combine traditional craft with modernity and innovation. Their products display contemporary motifs inspired by ancient Japanese traditions that celebrate the beauty of nature. Their porcelain is thin but resistant, each piece a testament to the artisans’ mastery.
Kihara focuses on three main businesses: 1. Wholesale business
2. Product development / OEM business
3. Retail business
Kinshodo is renowned for its “Lin Collection”: based on the concept of the “extraordinary” and characterized by its metal-like look, unique texture and colours that change depending on the viewing angle, the name “Lin” is an homage to the master artist “Linzo Kaneko”, an acclaimed akae porcelain painter, active in Arita in the early 1900s. Linzo Kaneko, with his visionary ambitions and superb craftsmanship, built the foundation of Kinshodo.
Arita Será is a big shopping mall with 22 shops specialized in Arita yaki, a genuine paradise for pottery collectors. The mall boasts a great range of classic and contemporary ceramics, from daily tableware to gifts, commercial tableware, and fine art.
Arita Será has developed its original line of products: the “Takumi-no-kura” tableware series, born from the points of view of three parties: potteries (producers), trading companies (retailers) and consumers. It has been created to blend the traditional art of Arita yaki with its utility in everyday life.