Collection: Yukutayagama: Okinawa Yachimun Pottery

Based in Yomitan Village in the Nakagami District of Okinawa mainland Yachimun no Sato is a traditional village where many Okinawan potters create the local Yachimun pottery. 

Yukutaya kiln is a family run kiln that is headed by master craftsman Minoru Chibana. The pottery is wheel thrown and wood fired in Noborigama, a traditional climbing kiln that was built by the family in an area that was once forest. 

The kiln is lit only once or twice a year and we were extremely privileged to witness the kiln was being blessed and lit in the spring of 2023. 

Once the pieces are carefully removed from the kiln they are each touched up and finished using a file.

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.

  • The 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

  • Okinawan Shisa

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.