Based in Mie Prefecture, the art of Banko Yaki is a traditional ceramic technique
that is entrenched in Japanese culture. Dating back to the 18th century,
Banko Yaki ceramics offer unique heat resistance and a beautiful,
almost primitive composition.
The name "Banko Yaki" was given by the great merchant Nunami Rouzan,
who placed a seal with the words bankofueki, or "eternity, constancy,"
onto the wares, hoping they would be handed down through countless generations.
The tradition has held to his day- it is estimated that 70-80% of Japan's
earthenware is currently produced in Yokkaichi.
The Mie Prefecture in Japan has always been home to ceramic craftsmen of high skill. When cheaper, foreign companies threatened to swallow up independent ceramists in 2005, four Banko-Yaki craftsmen joined together to ensure their trade would continue.
Though each of them had specialized skills that had been used to compete against each other in the past, their new collective flourished under their alliance and new sense of purpose. They were determined to maintain the high quality of Yokkaichi Banko Yaki ceramics and support their local industry. They decided to help each other, rather than trying to survive separately.
In modern shapes and neutral, timeless colors, these pieces continue to honor an ancient art by reshaping the past to fit the needs on the future. As they are hand-glazed and fired, each Banko-Yaki piece exhibits a unique color and translucency, an artful imperfection that differentiates it from the rest of its sisters. Its technique and organic composition easily lends itself to the principle of wabi sabi, which seeks out the beauty of imperfect, natural objects.
To read more about wabi sabi, check out our Journal.
All steps of the manufacturing process, such as casting, trimming, polishing and glazing are carefully executed and supervised by experienced craft men. While some of them contribute techniques that are more than a hundred years old, all craftsmen have at least fifty years of experience in creating ceramics. All the pieces in our collection are hand made, while the molds are expertly designed and maintained by highly experienced artisans. The result is what we believe to be the ultimate form of craftsmanship.