Beautiful traditional Japanese Glass – Mino Yaki


Mino Yaki shows a lot of expressions with color, figures and outlook


Mino yaki, also called Mino Ceramic Ware, is the general term for ceramics produced in the eastern part of Mino Province (present-day Gifu Prefecture). It includes Tajimi, Toki, Kani, Mizunami, and Kasahara. Unlike other traditional crafts, Mino ware is not a specific type of pottery, but rather an unusual traditional craft that represents the entire range of ceramics produced in the region. 


So why is it? The reason lies in the process by which Mino ware has developed. This is because they have a history of being made by mixing materials and chemicals to suit the tastes of the time and the people who use them. In other words, it is not a homogeneous product made by a single method, but rather a custom-made product that reflects the needs of the customer by making full use of the techniques inherited by the craftsmen of traditional Japanese crafts.


   In addition, since the Meiji era (19th century), technological innovation has enabled the development of techniques that enable inexpensive mass production. As a result, Gifu Prefecture now accounts for about 50% of the market share of ceramics and porcelain and has developed into the largest production area in Japan. It has become an indispensable part of the Japanese dining table. However, Mino ware sold as “traditional crafts” are not mass-produced products but are still handmade by artisans.


My favorite glass! Mino Yaki cherry blossoms glass!!

When my foreign friends working in Japan come to my house, I often use this glass, particularly in Spring, cherry blossoms season.  As you may know, the tree is one of the most famous sights of Japanese culture, and many people from abroad have asked me to take them “Ohanami” (chatting and drinking under cherry blossoms). I have often felt that the sights of cherry blossoms please foreign visitors and workers as Japanese cherry blossoms are far more gorgeous and majestic compared to those blooming abroad.
When it comes to this Mino Yaki glass, white cherry blossoms are painted on a clear glass, and yet when you pour a drink below 17 degrees Celsius, the pink cherry blossoms bloom profusely. (Movie from BECOS). My friend got surprised and said that “Wow!! What a beautiful scene! This is my Ohanami!!”. I seriously felt that I was glad to have this glass, Sakura Magic 2piece
Of course, this color change is not the only attraction of this glass. In addition to the beauty of the form of the glass, the simplicity of the glass is also appealing, as it creates a serene dining experience.
Mino yaki glass
Sakura Magic pair glass

Mino-Yaki has several categories

There are currently four major styles of Mino ware. In the process of development, it has gone through many more styles but now has settled down to about these four.


  1. Kiseto
  2. Setoguro
  3. Shino
  4. Oribe


1. Kiseto

   Kiseto is characterized by its beautiful pale yellow color and decoration. One of them is “Ayame-te,” a relatively thin ceramic ware with a variety of floral patterns and gallantry (green spots) and brown burn marks. The gallantry and burn marks on the surface are random as it appears during burning the ware to tighten. Their random decoration inspires customers to have the only-one product that the same one never exists. there is also “Gukinomi-te”, which is thicker and has almost no patterns or burn marks.


Mino yaki glass
Kiseto Pair Cup 

2. Setoguro

   In the process of manufacturing this type of product, Japanese traditional craftsmen apply iron glaze to the porcelain and fire it in a kiln at around 1,200 degrees Celsius, and then cool it rapidly after removing it from the kiln. The surface of the porcelain then becomes a deep black color. This coloration is very different from the black that was commonly used until then. This new black color pleased people and became popular.


Unique colored Mino ware
Setoguro pair pottery

The shape of the teacups made by this process is also different from the conventional rounded teacups, with a low base and a semi-cylindrical shape with an angular base. The free form that was not bound by existing concepts also attracted people.



3. Shino

   Shino pottery has beautiful white skin with a slight reddish tinge and a fine crack pattern. At that time, Shino was the birth of the “white pottery” that Japanese people had longed for. And at the same time, it was epoch-making pottery that enabled craftsmen to paint directly on the surface of the pottery, instead of using conventional stamping or carving methods.

   Shino is made by firing a white feldspar glaze (Shino glaze) on a clay called “moxa-soil”. It is often used for tea bowls, water jars, incense containers, and other tea utensils. There are several types of Shino, including plain Shino, painted Shino, rat Shino, red Shino, and kneaded Shino.


traditional japanese crafts

4. Oribe

    Oribe ware is characterized by its novelty. its bold patterns, such as checkerboard and geometric patterns, are very different from the conventional orderly tea utensils. While Oribe ware is mass-produced, there is no single pattern that is the same. From this point of view, Oribe is often referred to as the ware made with an attitude that emphasizes individuality.


Also, the greatest feature of Oribe ware is its color. The ware has a deep dark green color, and its tasteful color attracted people at that time. you can savor Oribe-Yaki by both sight and touch.


japanese culture
Oribe teacup

Interesting manufacturing Process from YouTube

Although I mention above  that there is no fixed manufacturing method in “Mino pottery”, there is a fixed manufacturing method in the kind which came to be mass-produced. However, even if it is said mass production, not completely all processes are made by automated machines. Traditional craftsmen manufacture important parts that determine the quality of works by hand.


The Toki City Mino Ceramic Ware PR Committee uploaded the manufacturing process to youtube as part of their promotion. Take a look if you are interested in it!



If you want to feel Japan more, This Yunomi (Japanese teacup) is good for you!

japanese teacup
Sakura Yunomi:Mino-Yaki
If you’re going to buy a traditional Japanese craft, don’t you want one that will give you more of an experience of Japan and Japanese culture?” A “Yunomi” is a Japanese tea cup, especially a tableware used for drinking hot green tea. It is a little thinner than the cup you use to drink tea, and longer in length. In actual use, this shape prevents the temperature of the tea from cooling down and the width of the cup is designed so that hot tea can be drunk little by little.
Why not add color to your tea time with cherry blossoms that shine on the pure white?
If you want modern, contemporary Mino ware, check here!

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