Cornucopia: Ceramics of Southern Japan

Around the year 1600, a heightened fascination with the design and uses of ceramics, combined with advances in technology, launched an era of extraordinarily diverse and accomplished ceramic production in Japan. The center of this efflorescence was southern Japan, and in particular the island of Kyushu. Hundreds of kilns produced both stoneware coated in muted glazes and porcelain ornamented with cobalt blue or multicolored enamels for the domestic market (with a focus on utensils for dining and for the tea ceremony) and for export to Europe and Southeast Asia. The wide variety of local styles of glazing and decoration invented by Kyushu potters over three centuries is impressive.