Kutani-ware is highly regarded both inside and outside Japan as one of the most refined styles of japan traditional porcelain.
The 350 years of history is deeply related to that of the city of Kaga in Ishikawa Prefecture.
Where we are making Kutani-ware.
The kutani- ware started in 1655 years by feudal lord Maeda in this village, who ruled Kaga domain four hundred years and continued to sponsor the development of this high class japan craft.
Our Crown Prince purchased a set of tea cups in 2014,that was our product.
Among nearly 300 referenced works, many of our original brand "Eishou" products are permanently proposed on display in the shop.
Of various sizes and uses they are all hand-painted just like our numerous replicas of famous creations ranging from the elder styles of Old-Kutani (Ko-Kutani) and Yoshidaya to modern approaches of artists such as Kitaoji Rosanjin.
We are glad to welcome you either in our atelier shop and/or in the neighboring typical Kaga-style house for a moment of relaxation around a cup of tea.
Kutani Porcelain in its long history has made advantage of the abundant resources of locally produced clay (Kaolin).
The rocks are crushed into powder and dressed in water. Then, by using the wheel, the material gets to be formed in the required shape.
One of the evident features of Kutani Porcelain is “gorgeous coloring”. The five colors reign supreme: red, blue, yellow, purple and green. These pigments are made out of natural stones. In and around 1890, Kutani Porcelain with its fine artistic works using “over glazing paints” were highly reputed as being the best “Japan Kutani” and these were shipped to western countries.
With a 350- year tradition of Kutani ware, Bitouen is aiming to match the modern life style. The general idea of our design concept is to keep a classic _expression of the products for a decorative purpose, whereby aiming for joyful usability. Bitouen always offers products, which help users, produce a much nicer presentation in cooking and atmosphere at home.
So many world-known celebrities have purchased Bitouen products. A pair of Kutani Gold painted tea cups were chosen by the Crown Prince of Japan. He made the selection himself. The Ex-Maeda Clan (18th generation) has purchased Bonbonniers for three consecutive generations. The Governor of Ishikawa prefecture has been purchasing Bitouen products as gifts for 30 years. About 15 years ago, the Canadian ambassador came and purchased some of Bitouen’s products. Several years ago, the ex-prime minister of West Germany came and purchased some products. The Minister of Education in Japan visited us and purchased many gifts from Bitouen for her trip to Europe. This is just an example of our customers for the reference.
History of Kutani ware
（Kutani ware includes Old Kutani and Restored Kutani）
(1)Old Kutani -by Lord Maeda (1655～1710)
Kutani ware started in 1655 in the Kutani village(now Kaga-city,Ishikawa prefecture) ,where the Daisyouji feudal lord Maeda Toshiharu(a branch of Kaga clan) found a porcelain stone in his gold mine. It is assumed that lord Maeda had Hizen people build a kiln to make a Kutani ware, which was3４m in length.
The feature of a Kutani ware is the painting on white porcelain. The vivid brushwork paints thick pigment of green, blue, yellow and purple with red on it sometimes.
Beautiful designes were painted on big plates and many kinds of table wares.
Archaeological investigation in 1970 proved that the Kutani kiln prospered from1670 to 1710 years. The kiln was built in a Hizen style.
The Kutani that were made during this approximate 50 years are called Old Kutani, and has received high reputation globally. This is the start of Kutani ware.
Hizen area (includes a region called Arita , in Imari ) is the nearest place in Japan to China and Korea.
Arita people learned the know-how to make porcelain from the Chinese and Korean.
This technique descended to Kutani village.( Imari was a name of an harbor that exported Aria)
(2)Restored Kutani -by Yoshidaya Den-emon (1824～)
The Old Kutani was established by lord Maeda until the culture disappeared gradually around 1710. After that, in the area they made non-Kutani ware porcelains and potteries.
It was Yohidaya Den-emon, a wealthy merchant, who strived to restore the Kutani porcelains. At that time he was already 72 years old. He made a kiln in 1824, next to the Old Kutani kiln and made Kutani ware. Given the inconvenience of the place, he soon moved to Yamashiro town to build a new kiln, which was located in town. This kiln was operated only for 7 years. He created several masterpieces in an Aode style, which is a kutani ware that does not include red but painted by blue, green, yellow, and purple. This is the so called Yoshidaya-style. It was by him that restored Kutani was actually started.
(3) Characteristics of Kutani ware
In Kaga city and Ishikawa prefecture, there are many artists who have been making many different types of Kutani ware. The biggest feature of Kutani is in its paintings. The traditional paintings have birds and flowers, landscapes, people, animals and geometrical patterns drawn on it. The main three representative techniques are "Gosaide (five colors)", "Aode (blue colors)", "Akae (red detailed drawing)".
Gosaide (five color style)
Gosaide, is drawn in green, yellow, red, blue, and purple. In the center, birds, flowers, landscapes, people were drawn surrounded by geometrical patterns.
Aode (blue colors)
Aode are painted by four colors: blue, green, yellow, and purple. (or only three of them excluding purple) The Aode technique was used in Old Kutani but Yoshidaya developed this design to a more elegant design.
Akae (red detailed painting)
Miyamotoya, who succeeded Yoshidaya kiln, had Iidaya design the Kutani using red detailed drawing technique, sometimes with gold. This style succeeded in expressing more detail and luxury.
These three main techniques have been passed on today as the traditional Kutani techniques.