Mino ware For Small Plate


A Wide Variety of Mino Ware

Mino ware has a history of over 1300 years. This means that around 770 AD, this cultural and traditional craft was born. What was happening around the 8th century in the history of your country? It seems like a very long time ago when you learned about it in school, but the prototype of this culture was already established in Japan. It’s an amazing history that I myself can’t even imagine. In fact, the Imperial Court was established in Kyoto in the late 8th century and a class society had already been also established. Incidentally, Japan’s writing culture is said to started in the 5th century. So much for preliminaries, here are some stories about Mino ware. I wrote about Mino ware before, please refer to this as well. 

Main History of Mino ware

The golden age of Mino ware is said to be the Azuchi-Momoyama period (1573-1603). With the popularity of the tea ceremony and the activities of tea masters of the time such as Sen no Rikyu and Furuta Oribe, the basic styles of today’s Mino ware, such as yellow seto, Setoguro, Shino, and Oribe, were born. The innovative shapes and rich colors of Mino ware, which dared to be warped, must have been revolutionary for the people of that time. Some variety of Mino ware, such as Shino, Oribe, and Kiseto introduced in the previous article, were established in the era.

Manufacturing method

Japanese traditional craft


General Production Process 

  1. 1. Clay kneadingClay with a sufficiently uniform hardness and moisture level is kneaded little by little while rotating. The rotation serves to remove the air bubbles from inside the clay. Because the kneading involves both large rough massaging and smaller careful massaging, the form of the clay ends up resembling a chrysanthemum while it is being kneaded hence its nickname, “chrysanthemum kneading”.
  2. 2. ShapingMino ware is mainly produced by potter’s wheel molding, hand rolling, or slab building. Mass production is carried out using a great variety of templates, from prototype models to working molds. Slip casting produces muddy clay inside a concave plaster mold. Pressure casting is a method of casting that uses compressed air to send clay mud to a plaster mold. Other molding methods that may be used include mechanical potter’s wheel molding, fully-automatic molding, and press molding.
  3. 3. DryingOnce the pieces have been planed or shaved down, they are slowly dried before the bisque stage. They are dried in the shade or under the sun. The time required for drying varies depending on factors like the application of patterns, decoration, the thickness of the unglazed pottery on which patterns are drawn, as well as the size of the pieces.
  4. 4. Bisque firingThis process removes moisture from the raw material and increases durability by burning combustibles. The firing is carried out slowly at a temperature of around 700 to 800℃ (1292 to 1472℉). The bisque firing makes it easier to apply glaze.
  5. 5. Underglaze decorationUnderglaze decoration is a process carried out prior to glazing where patterns are drawn beneath the glaze. After the bisque firing, pigments of desired colors are used to decorate the pieces. Cobalt, iron, and copper are the most used pigments. Once the drawing is complete, transparent glaze is applied. When using zaffar which is a cobalt oxide, the color becomes indigo blue while pieces drawn with iron develop a dark reddish-brown or blackish-brown color.
  6. 6. GlazingThe glaze melts when it is fired and creates a glass-like coat on the surface, which reduces permeability and increases durability. This acts as a coloring and coating that shines and decorates the piece. There are three basic kinds of glaze: ash, feldspar, and lead. But iron, copper or metal can also be added to the basic ones, creating many different types of glaze. Some frequently used glazing techniques are drip glazing, spray glazing, and dip glazing.
  7. 7. Glost firingGlost firing at a high temperature is carried out after the glazing. The pieces are carefully packed into the kiln to ensure that the density inside the kiln is uniform. Some major types of kilns are climbing kilns, gas kilns, and electric kilns.
  8. 8. Overglaze decorationFigures and patterns are painted on the glost fired pieces with overglaze decoration brushes. The overglaze decoration painting techniques include red painting, colors other than red painting and five-color painting. The paints are a mixture of metallic components such as iron, copper, cobalt, or manganese with soda or lead. After the delicate lines are drawn, the pieces are sent to firing between 700 and 800℃ (about 1292 to 1472℉), which is lower than the glost firing to prevent colors from scattering.
  9. 9. FinishingAfter the final firing, the surface of the piece is filed down and it is complete.

Recommended Products for You


Japanese ware
4 piece Mino ware

Price: 85.75 USD (other currency available)

Comment from Vendor, Masaharu Takagi: Marumo Takagi Toki Co. established 1887.
  • This is a sake cup to enjoy the beauty Japanese seasons.
  • The beauty snow crystals appear at temperatures below 17°C and disappear
    at room temperature.
  • You’ll be surprised at the beautiful change in design when you pour a cold
    drink into it. (From BECOS product page)


Japanese ware
2 piece Mino ware block

Price: 44.10 USD (other currency available)

Comment from Vendor, Masaharu Takagi (From BECOS product page)

  • This is a magic mug to enjoy the beauty of cherry blossoms
    and fall foliage.
  • The beauty of fall foliage appear at temperatures above 45°C
    and disappear at room temperature.
  • You’ll be surprised at the beautiful change in design when
    you pour a cold drink into it.


Japanese ware
6 piece Mino ware

Price: 63.70 USD (other currency available)

Comment from Vendor, Masaharu Takagi (From BECOS product page)

  • An elegant mame platter with a variety of uses!
  • This bean dish is decorated with the traditional shades of
    gilding and red painting.
  • The contrast between the deep red of the color and the gilded
    highlights is stylish and will keep you coming back for more.
  • They can be enjoyed not only as tableware, but also as
    interior or decorative plates!
  • It will also make a great gift.

Enjoy a wide range of products

What sets Mino Ceramic Ware apart from other Japanese cultural products and traditional crafts is the large number of product variations. (Kawama-ware has this type of trait.) Most traditional crafts have developed by specializing in one field, e.g. pottery, towels, porcelain, etc. However, since Mino ware have developed to “create products that meet the needs of the user,” Mino ware now has a diverse lineup. Not only the small bowl introduced here, but also the glass introduced before and the TOKKURI (a Japanese tableware for pouring sake) introduced in the future, there are really various kinds. Moreover, since the characteristics and atmosphere of Mino ware are completely different, it is also a good idea to have a variety of Mino ware to enjoy a different dining experience every day.

Gifu, the home of Minoyaki pottery, has a traditional craft of kitchen knives that are popular all over the world. It is called Seki’s knife. See this articles (Traditional Japanese knife: Seki brand) to check it!

Let's share this post !