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A Village Where You Can Encounter Yachimun
post : 2014.10.23 16:00
In Yomitan Village there is Yachimun Town, where as the name states it is related to yachimun (earthenware). Long ago, when Okinawa was a trading ground, techniques from various places in Asia were taken to create yachimun.
After the war, Yomitan Village was mostly occupied as a military base. During the reversion, part of the village was returned. To make use of the area where the buildings for the base were demolished the “Yachimun no Sato Project” was started. Human national treasure and potter, the late Jiro Kinjo, relocated his furnace to this area. Also in 1980, starting with Tomisumi Omine, who was the chancellor of Okinawa Prefectural University of Arts, Mazakazu Yamada, Teramasu Tamamoto and Akimitsu Kinjo opened the kiln “Yomitan Yamakama”, and many other potters came.
If you go off Route 58 and continue through Yomitan, you can see a magnificent bank kiln.
A bank kiln is a type of kiln that uses a slope, where in the firing rooms are built in levels and in room at the front the fire is lit and things are cooked from the lowest level upward.
If you go further inward, you can see the largest bank kiln in Okinawa, Kitagama. This 13 chambered large kiln was made by 4 potters in 1992. In Yachimun kiln there are a lot more active potters.
There are not only workshops in the village there are also galleries and cooperatives so you can get a hands on look with a lot of yachimun.
Yachimun is mostly made from Okinawa soil, the mixture for the glaze is passed down so it is different for each creator and it natural ingredients like ore, sugar cane ash and coral limestone. The gentle feeling, and serene patterns and colors were probably born from the nature of Okinawa.
Every year in mid-December, a pottery market is held in Yomitan. And Yachimun village is filled with earthenware pots, plates, shisa (lion dog) and flower vases. To get a chance to get yachimun at a relatively cheaper price come to Okinawa in winter.
Yachimun no Sato
2653-1 Zasami, Yomitan-son
Okinawa Clip Photowriter Masayuki Sesoko