Day10 Arimatsu and Tokoname

The studio creates fabric for many fashion designers. I was particularly impressed with this woolly piece. Mohair doesn’t full so it pops up when the other wool fibers shrink.

More shibori.

Mr. Tsuyoshi Kuno shows a piece he created for an actor in a Noh play.

His son shows us the steamer and compressor that will heat set our polyester.

Indigo dyed fiber in the dyeworks.

Another beautifully-presented Japanese lunch. Very fresh and tasty.

After lunch we visited Tokoname, a village famous for its pottery, particularly red pots. A large wall in the train station is covered with this enormous ceramic sculpture. The regional clay is red from the iron-rich soil in rice fields.

The tourist information center displays the local ceramic work, all as simply and elegantly displayed as this dinner plate.

Tokaname is also known for producing the little waving cats that are often found beckening customers to come into Japanese and Chinese shops. A giant cat overlooks the town’s Main Street.

And some shops are filled with the critters. The statues are imbued with all kinds of meaning. Which paw is raised, how high it is raised, and other attributes determine what kind of luck the cat will bring,

The village sports a pottery walk, taking the visitor past quaint houses and walls created by ceramic pipes and jars, some from the 1870s.

Starting in the 1900s the village started to produce ceramic pipes, tiles and storage vessels on an industrial level. During the 1950s, at the height of the industry, nearly 400 brick chimneys let out smoke from the town’s kilns.

With gas and electricity, the chimneys went out of use and now only a few remain.

But incredible amounts of clay jars and bottles remain.

But an incredible amount of jars and pipes remain.

They are everywhere.

As are lots of pottery shops. I came across this shop where the items were many cuts above average.

Rotting wood, rust and clay throughout the historic village…some of my favorites…give it a charm that I haven’t found elsewhere in Japan yet.

This potter checks his wheel.

This kiln is built on a 17 degree slant up a hill and is called the climbing kiln, built in 1887.

The rest of the group attended demonstration of tea preparation. But since I don’t particularly drink much tea, I decided to walk around Tokonome instead. I’m glad I did. It’s a charming and very unique village.

Tomorrow we have an indigo dye workshop in Arimatsu.

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