Rokkoyo pottery


Rokkoyo pottery has become one of the most popular Japanese pottery styles in recent years. This ceramic is known for its vibrant, bright colors and eye-catching designs. Known for its luster and durability, Rokkoyo pottery is also popular with collectors. Its distinctive shape and intricate detailing make it a prized choice.



    Japanese pottery had its most prolific period between the 12th and 15th centuries, when the main kilns were built, from the Heian era to the end of the Muromachi period.

    The six most important kilns in Japan that were built at that time are called Rokkoy ô (the six old kilns). These are:

    • Tamba (Hyôgo prefecture)
    • Tokoname (Aichi Prefecture)
    • Seto (Aichi)
    • Echizen (Fukui Prefecture)
    • Bizen (Okayama Prefecture)
    • Shigaraki (Shiga prefecture)


    Below you have a map with the location in Japan of each one:




    Rokkoyo kilns



    Rokkoyo pottery in Ichino has been produced for over a thousand years in Japan. These pieces combine traditional tambaware with a simple, modern aesthetic. Many of their pieces feature traditional red akadobe glazes on their exteriors and postmodern glazes on their interiors. These ceramic pieces evoke the beauty of nature, and are now gaining international popularity.

    The region is known as Nihon Rokkoyo, and is made up of six former kiln towns. Each area is noted for producing specific types of pottery. Some kilns specialize in teapots and tokkuri sake bottles.

    Nonomura Ninsei


    Ninsei is credited with creating the first stoneware pieces with overglazed glaze designs. Until that time, this type of decoration had only been applied to porcelain. Ninsei dedicated his life to experimentation and to proving his contemporaries wrong.

    Ninsei used themes from Muromachi paintings to inspire his work. Using an iron brush under the glaze, he painted the motifs on the pottery. He also painted a mountain design in white engobe, creating a frame for the glaze designs. He would then apply a stamp to mark the work and identify it with his name.

    Nonomura Ninsei Ceramics

    Ceramic water jug from the studio of Nonomura Ninsei, Kyoto, Edo period, 17th century.

    Tokyo National Museum.

    Koyama Fujio


    Koyama Fujio, the master of Rokkoyo ware, was born in 1899 and studied ceramics at the Oriental Ceramic Institute. He became an important part of the Japanese pottery world by helping to designate Japanese pottery pieces as Important Cultural Properties and National Treasures. He was also a major player in the establishment of the Living National Treasures system. However, in his career, Koyama suffered a major scandal that forced him to resign from his position, despite his high profile, although he did not let that incident keep him from his love of ceramics.

    Today, Rokkoyo pottery is considered an authentic Japanese craft. The pottery is produced in six traditional Japanese kilns. These kilns have been producing Japanese pottery since the Middle Ages. They differ from modern kilns, which are influenced by Chinese and Korean ceramic techniques.



    Enraku pottery from Rokkoyo combines the ancient art of raku firing with modern technology. This method is gaining popularity overseas, as it creates unique clay results. Each kiln has its own character, and each is known for creating a particular type of pottery. Some kilns specialize in one type of pottery, such as glazed pottery, while others are known for making teapots and tokkuri sake bottles.

    The name “Rokkoyo” refers to six representative production areas and old kilns. These areas are located in the central part of Japan, near Kyoto and Osaka. In addition, the region is also the birthplace of Tamba pottery. The district is home to approximately 60 pottery studios.



    The Rokkoyo style of pottery has a long history, with several distinct regional styles. The oldest, Jomon ware, dates back some 12,000 years. Later types include Sue ware (fired at high temperatures) and Omuro-yaki (fired at low temperatures). Both styles are often imitated today.

    In addition to Rokkoyo pottery, there are many other types of Kyoto pottery, such as Awataguchi Yaki and Kiyomizu Yaki. In addition to Kiyo-yaki, Omuro-yaki style ware was one of the first kilns to apply a red color to the surface; it is a color that conveys warmth and intensity.



    Rokkoyo pottery is created using ancient techniques from the six great kilns. These kilns were active during the Middle Ages and are considered the oldest pottery traditions in Japan. Today, however, many kilns have incorporated techniques from other parts of Asia, such as Korea and China. As a result, not all Rokkoyo ware is made in the same way.

    This style is known for its characteristic sandy surface. This sand-like material is used for many different styles of pottery, including the popular Karatsu ware. The clay, called Suname, is also known for its rough appearance. It is a very adhesive clay with iron-rich parts. After firing, the clay turns blackish brown. The colors develop vividly when motifs are brushed onto it. This style of pottery is especially popular for tea bowls.