The Future Vision of Maiji Imari project
Aiming at establishment of “Heisei Imari” through further evolvement
In the process of production: Sometsuke Reijyu patten cooler From the end of Edo Period to 1897, a variety of potters struggled to produce Meiji Imari. Most of them were exported overseas and we had just limited number of samples from which we learned ancestors’ skills and continued reproducing them. However, we do not think this is the final goal.
We need to go beyond that and then produce “Heisei Imari”, and then what we have done make sense. Therefore, we vigorously face new challenges. One of them is the production of
Sake Cooler “sake cooler”, like wine cooler. Kyushu is known for shochu, but as Saga Prefecture is well known for its rice production. Therefore, they devotedly produce sake compared with other Kyushu prefectures. In recent years, the US is going through “sake boom,” and more and more manufactures produce fizzy sake which has some similarity to champaign. Given this background, we thought it would be interesting to promote Meiji Imari sake cooler by collaborating with local sake brewers in New York, and we will exhibit it at the New York Kinokuniya Bookstore’s fair.
The origin of monozukuri (making things) that we should never forget
We strongly believe that we should not forget the origin. For example, dealing with clay. When they crushed stone, they used the tool called “Karausu”. The tool is like a scale, tank of water is one side and head of pestle is another side, and by using the power of water from mountain stream, they gently crushed the stone.
We asked the clay shop if we could use the stamper and grind the stone at the same speed as water wheel. They told us that if we change the parts of stamper, it is possible. Therefore we asked them to do so.
When we asked elderly people about the tool, “karausu”, they said, “When we gently crush stone, ‘hanako’ would fly around.” Hanako is the particles when we grind the stone to pieces, and they would fly into the air all over the place. When they finish crushing, they brush off hanako which sticks to the equipment, and then blend it into clay.
The old style of porcelain stone, which was made in the slow process as hanako fly into the air, has romantic appeal. In the past, they used porcelain stone after they let it stand for 10 or 20 years. Monozukuri – making things – should be handed down at such a slow pace originally, but in our modern times, it is quite difficult to take time. However, we shoule not forget their process.
In this section, the text was written based on the interview of Mr. Tetsuo Saijo, the producer of Meiji Imari Renaissance project, and Mr. Tetsu Matsumoto, the executive of the Arita Yogyo Company.