Okinawan Yachimun Pottery
The traditional pottery of Okinawa "Yachimun" means ceramics in Okinawan dialect.
This style of ceramic was developed under the influence of Chinese, Korean & Southeast Asian pottery as the Ryukyu Kingdom traded heavily with it's neighbouring countries.
The foundations of today’s yachimun yaki laid by Korean artisans based in the Satsuma domain (present-day Kagoshima Prefecture) who came to Okinawa in the early seventeenth century.
The base of the Yukutayagama climbing kiln being lit with wooden kindling.
The kiln is only lit once or twice each year.
Many other potters in Yachimun no Sato Village use a communal kiln known as Yomitanzan-yaki cooperative kiln but the Chibana family have built their own kiln for their sole use in an area of forestry next to their workshop.
Bamboo tools for mixing the glaze
Pieces waiting to be fired
Pieces stacked in the kiln ready for firing
Finished pieces ready to be removed from the kiln
Minoru Chibana is one of the few potters left who still create these traditional intricate Okinawan urns.
While visiting Okinawa in the spring of 2023 we had the great pleasure of meeting Kiyohito san at the kiln in Yomitan Pottery Village (Yachimun no Sato)
We were able to witness the lighting of the kiln and see many of the works before they were fired. We are thrilled to bring these Yukutayagama yunomi cups to our customers here in the UK and further abroad.