Founded in 1991, the Toki City Wholesale Pottery Association was established in Toki city in Gifu Prefecture, the main production area of “Mino-Yaki” which is the foremost ceramic production area in Japan. We are proud to announce that we have currently 110 companies members in our association.
About 40 km northeast of Nagoya city in the Tono region located in the southeastern part of Gifu Prefecture, a wide variety of pottery wereproduced mainly in Toki city. This pottery is collectively known as the "Mino-yaki” (Mino wares).
With its long history and tradition of over 1300 years, Mino-yaki accounts for about half of the Japanese pottery production. It is no exaggeration to say that they are the best representative of the Japanese pottery.
Mino-yaki evolved from “Sue-ki” that had been produced during the Heian period. After the Kamakura period, pottery production using “Anagama” kilns began where Koseto-style glazed earthenware was fired in single-chamber kilns built in a sloping tunnel, though the kilns were not as high as the hill zone around Seto city.
At the beginning of the 15th century, kilns were dotted all over Toki city. During the 16th century, due to an economic policy set forth by Oda Nobunaga (a powerful feudal lord of the time), potters in the hill zone around Seto city moved to the village of the Mino District (northeast of the Toki River) and built many large kilns that were ground-based, single rooms known for more efficient firing than Anagama kilns. During the Momoyama period, “Mino Momoyama Tou” was produced and became representative of “Shino-yaki” establishing a foundation of Mino-yaki.
During the Edo period, the structure of kilns was changed from “O-gama”, large kilns to “Renbousiki-noborigama”, which literally translates to “connected climbing kilns”. Furthermore, in addition to Shino-yaki, masterpieces of Oribe-yaki were created “Mikui” was created in the middle Edo period. Production of porcelain began in the late Edo period, and today it has become the main ceramic industry accounting for a majority of Japanese and Western tableware.
Birthed by the freedom of thought, Mino-yaki is also known as “Mino Momoyama Tou”. Known for its originality and ingenuity, “Oribegonomi” is one of the famous styles that was introduced and named after Furuta Oribe (1543-1615) who was a tea master and military chief.
“Unohanagaki”, a type of Shino-chawan, is one of the few examples of Japanese pottery that is designated as a national treasure.