KUTANI porcelain is made in KUTANI village in the land of KAGA (Ishikawa Prefecture) since the Edo era about 350 years. It features glazes using 5 traditional Kutani colors (red, blue, yellow, purple and green).
Long winters with deep snow in Kaga. In such a world of monochrome, people were looking forward to welcome colorful spring.
Yellow and green reminiscent warm spring has drawn
brightly on a one of masterpiece of KUTANI as pictured on the left...
◆ the early Edo period ◆
KOKUTANI (=old Kutani), made in the early Edo period (1655-57). It is the origin of KUTANI. Its artistic style is reminiscent Van Gogh's oil painting.
The style with vivid yellow and green is called "AOTE (=blue hand)", it is a style which represents the KOKUTANI. However, about 50 years later (1710) KOKUTANI was suddenly no longer produced...
◆ the late Edo period ◆
About 100 years later, fortunately the production restarted by the Kaga Clan, who invited many craftsmen and designers from Kyoto and Edo (former Tokyo) and produced various styles of Kutani Porcelain.
◆ Meiji era from the late Edo period ◆
A fine design appeared. It is the "AKAE (=red painting)" painting in red on a white. Only the red points and lines creat a majestic landscape in perspective.
◆ the Meiji era ◆
Plenty of KUTANI porcelains have been exported to Europe in Meiji era.
It was called gorgeous "JAPAN KUTANI". Its oriental pattern with fine technique attracts people in Europe. JAPAN KUTANI was the most exported porcelain in Japan at that time.
KUTANI's porcelain painters were competing each other how they can draw finer lines and points. Such competition leaded to the artisan skill today.
The secret of warm green and yellow color is thick glazing. Painting glaze on the sketch very thickly is a traditional method of KUTANI.
When porcelain is fired in a Kiln, glaze gets beautiful colors. The picture in three-dimentional look appears.