Characteristics of Asahi ware
The Asahi workshop makes two types of ceramics, both pottery and porcelain.
Asahi pottery is made using clay dug from sources within Uji. This special clay is responsible for the soft expressiveness of the mottled patterning typical of Asahi ware.
Asahi’s porcelain is distinguished by the fresh, translucent tonalities of its colored glazes. These distinctive features result from careful formulation of the trademark glazes. Both pottery and porcelain vessels are fired in the workshop’s wood-fired climbing kiln, using special skills cultivated over many decades.
The natural elegance of the vessel forms made at the Asahi pottery rely upon the skills of throwing on the potter’s wheel refined over generations and on obsessive attention to details such as the angle of cut faceting and the shaping of the rim.
The Asahi seal
The Asahi pottery was among the first workshops in Japan to begin marking its wares with a seal. Successive generations have used personalized seals to distinguish their work, and they have made use of a variety of seals to mark phases of their careers. These aspects of the seals are precious to us. Each time we press the “Asahi” seal into the damp clay of a finished piece, we feel a sense of pride.
The two characters for “Asahi” in the seal used by the present head of the workshop, the fifteenth generation Hosai, were received from Prince XXXXX-no-miya. Along with the Raku family of the Raku workshop in Kyoto, the Matsubayashi family is one of just two ceramics lineages in Japan to have received its seal from the imperial family.