- Established in 1932! Miyako soba noodle, which makes you rich?, in the long-established shop, “Koja Honten”
- Tropical Lovers Beach Festa warmed up in Ishigaki Island this year again!
post : 2015.06.20 19:00
In Nakagusuku Village in the central part of mainland Okinawa, where World Heritage Site, Nakagukuku Castle is located, “Pottery Hifumi” run by Mr. Kiyomasa & Mrs. Maho Okuhira in the quiet residential area.
The name of the shop “Hi (Fire) Fu (Wind) Mi (Water)” shows their gratitude toward the nature, which they never want to forget to make potteries. They combined important factors of “Hi (Fire), Fuu (Wind), and Mizu (Water).”
Behind the sign hanging on the outer wall, I went up the staircase to reach the front door. After removing my shoes, I found plenty of wares are displayed by the windows, on the walls, and on the tables. And there was a kitchen where wares for everyday use are displayed in the shelves.
Actually this is a workshop, a gallery and a living space for the family. As you feel the warm atmosphere of living, you can touch the wares.
Kiyomasa San and Maho San met each other in a workshop in Yomitan Village when they were in the making and got married. Since they opened their own shop eight years ago, they have been welcoming customers here. The characteristics of their wares are beautiful paintings which brighten up tables and your feeling.
Clear blue represents the sea of Okinawa while red represents arranged designs of chrysanthemums and arabesques, which are the traditional patterns of yachimun (Okinawan pottery). Colorful paintings attract you at the first sight.
But more charms of their wares will be revealed when you serve the food on them.
“I am trying to make wares which will be completed when food is served on them,” said Kiyomasa San.
Their wares which have a sense of existence and bring out the beauty of the food makes ordinary food look like a small feast and make party menu look more gorgeous. No matter what you put on their ware, the food looks surprisingly delicious.
These are wares from “Let’s go home” series. The whole body is shaped like a house. When you open the roof-shaped top, you can put small plates of different patterns in it. How lively and fun it is to see when the small dishes are placed on the table!
When it comes to a set of plates, we usually think all the plates have the same patterns.
“I would like to make my customers much happier, so I paint different patterns on each,” said Kiyomasa San.
This is another plate which has a different pattern on the back as well. They paint the back to please their customers when they turn the plate over when washing or wiping. Even when you clear the table after meals, the plate still makes you excited.
“We wish both who cooks and who eat meals can feel a warm atmosphere during meal time as much as possible.”
I felt like I touched their passions pouring into all the wares.
The shelves in the kitchen are open shelves. Maho San wanted to see how her masters use their wares when she was getting her training.
“She was expecting how gorgeously they display a variety of woks around the table, but she got no chances to see them. I wanted our visitors to feel the atmosphere of pottery artists’ kitchen by looking at our kitchen.”
Actually not a few customers enjoy watching wares, walking around the shelves. This space can only give you a chance to choose wares as you imagine if I bring this home and put in my kitchen….
Maybe because the shop creates a relaxing atmosphere, many customers come with their families. Some of them are three-generation families!
“When I see customers choosing wares with children, I feel very happy. As they imagine a scene of meal at home, families take a look at the wares together, which makes me very happy,” said Maho San.
Not a few people who come here alone for the first visit come back with their families. “Children can enjoy in the space for picture story books, and sometimes we enjoy playing spinning top with children,” said the owner couple with a smile.
A customer who comes alone can enjoy time here to his or her heart’s content. Sometimes a-good-cook husband who comes with his wife chooses wares very carefully. Every customer spends their time as they like.
“We would like our customers to enjoy a relaxed time as much as possible while feeling atmosphere of living of craft workers in Okinawa.”
Photo is provided by Pottery Hifumi
Once you visit here, you want to come back again. Pottery Hifumi has such an atmosphere. It is because, behind beautiful paintings, visitors feel the warmth and sincerity of workers toward people who touch their products.
“We have been making potteries with a help of power of Okinawa. I feel that potteries are produced particularly because we live here, in which customers overlap with “their own Okinawa.” It might be blue of the sea, simpleness of the people or the culture. We have been pleasing customers largely because of this island where we bake potteries. We deeply appreciate the land of Okinawa.”
Thinking of Okinawa and people who use their wares, the couple has been making their products. Just think if wares which supports our daily “eating” activities are produced from the couple owner.
I thought that the warmth naturally spread on your palms which held the ware and your table, and supported your basic power to live quietly and powerfully.
Address: 126 Aragaki Nakagusuku Village Nakagami County, Okinawa
Opening Hours: 10:00 to 17:00
*Because the shop is irregularly closed, please call them before your visit.
Okinawa CLIP Photo Writer Akio Ono
You can enjoy sweets on plates from “Pottery Hifumi” at a shop “Joie Joie.”