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Iga Mono (also known as Iga-yaki or Iga Ware)

Iga Mono (also known as Iga-yaki or Iga Ware)

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In Japanese, Iga mono means either someone from Iga or something from Iga. When the words refer to a person, it indicates a ninja from Iga School. On the other hand, when the words refer to a thing, it indicates earthenware made at Iga.

Iga is a remote village in deep mountains. But the place was also a connecting point of historically important cultural centers in Japan.

Iga has been producing clay, which is not ideal for rice farming, but perfect to create earthenware for its fire resistance property. Iga mono gained its admiration and fame in Azuchi-Momoyama period (1573-1615), since Sen no Rikyu, a founder of Japanese tea ceremony loved rustic tea ceremony cups made at Iga.

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An old long limbing kiln on the slope.

Even now, one of the appeal of iga mono is strong and rustic appearance. Fire resistance clay is fired in higher than normal temperature (up to 1300 degrees centigrade) multiple times in a kiln. Recently, donabe made at Iga is gaining popularity in Japan, alongside the other tableware.

 

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