Ryumonjiyaki Pottery Union
A descendent of the Kochosa ware tradion, Ryumonji ware was founded in 1688 by a potter with roots in the Korean Peninsula. Originally a kiln cooperative, the Ryumonji ware kiln was transformed after the Second World War into a pottery union. These days, Shiro Kawahara, a certified Contemporary Master Craftsperson, looks after the kiln along with his son Ryohei and other relatives.
Pottery Unique to Its Land
The Satsuma wares of Kagoshima can be divided into two categories: White Satsuma that uses light-colored clay, and Black Satsuma, which is made from the dark shirasu soil from volcanic regions.
Ryumonji ware specializes in Black Satsuma pieces that can incorporated into everyday life.
All the ingredients for its clay and glaze are harvested from local mountains and refined in the workshop. Few makers still collect raw materials in such a way. A variety of glazes make the natural beauty of Kagoshima come to life: from the brightly colored sansai (three-color) and gracefully beautiful “blue trailed black,” to the powerful presence of the dakatsu (lit. serpent) and samehada (lit. shark’s skin) glazes.
Text Credit: “TRAVEL UNA No.3 – Kyushu: A Journey to the Land of Art and Craft” by UNA Laboratories
Visiting our kiln and the annex shop
Business Hours : 8:30-17:30
Closing days : the New Year’s holiday
5940 Koyamada Kajikicho, Aira, Kagoshima, 899-5203, JAPAN
check ▶ Craft Pottery from the Clay and Glaze of Kagoshima: Make Ryumonji Ware with a Local Craftsperson (1.5hrs)｜Tourism｜UNA Laboratories Inc (unalabs.jp)