Potters and Patrons in Edo Period Japan: Takatori Ware and the Kuroda Domain traces the development of one of Japan's best-documented ceramic types, from its beginnings around 1600 until the abolition of the domain system in 1871. Using historical records, archaeological material from early kilns and consumer sites, and the results of comparative chemical analysis, this study explores the operation of Takatori as the official ceramic workshop of the Kuroda, lords of one of the largest domains in Japan. Spanning cultural, aesthetic, economic and practical aspects, this book presents Takatori ware as an ideal archetype with which to compare developments in elite ceramics in other parts of Japan throughout the Edo period. In addition to its scholarly examination of the operation of a domain-sponsored ceramics workshop over more than 250 years, the book includes illustrations of examples from each of the seven Takatori workshop locations, including beautiful pieces that have never before appeared in print.
'A treasure of a book! This absorbing story of a warrior domain's sponsorship of ceramic production over three centuries spans economic and aesthetic aspects. Nothing comparable exists in English, or Japanese.' Louise Cort, author, Shigaraki, Potters' Valley
'This welcome and important book traces the development of Takatori ware… [S]ources are all meticulously investigated in this book, the first full volume dedicated to Takatori ware either in English or Japanese, and Maske skilfully weaves them together to bring to life the fascinating story for the developing pottery and the remarkable family of potters who ran it… the detailed scholarly analysis is used to illuminate the broader historical context, resulting in a book that makes a valuable contribution not just to the field of Japanese ceramic history but also to the history of the tea ceremony and to the study of trade and urban development and of Tokugawa political history… The book is illustrated with examples of Takatori ware from each of the seven workshop locations, some never published before… Potters and Patrons is clearly and engagingly written, the author’s enthusiasm for his subject shining through on every page. Quite apart from its scholarly contribution to the knowledge of Takatori wares, this book provides excellent insights into many aspects relating to the wider history of Japanese ceramic history with great succinctness and clarity, whether it be the developing role of Japanese ceramics within the tea ceremony, the role of Korean potters within Japan, or the functions of the different types of official han kilns during the Edo period. With its detailed discussion of stylistic characteristics and dating, the book will also be of great value to collectors.' Journal of Japanese Studies
Contents: Preface; Introduction: historical context; The search for a style: Takatori ware production in the 17th century; The struggle for stability: later Takatori ware production, 1716-1871; From rough to refined: the ceramics of Takatori; 'Suitable for your use in Chanoyu': the tea caddies of Takatori; Ceramics fit for a lord: the distribution and use of Takatori ceramics; Epilogue: the Takatori legacy; Appendices; Sources cited; Index.