The History of Enshu-Takatori Style Ceramics

During the Korean Japanese war in the early 1600s a Korean pottery was brought back to Japan by the Japanese Samurai Lord Kuroda. The potter's name was Pal-san and he was given the family name of Takatori. He built the first kiln at the foot of Takatori Mountain in Nagata City, Fukuoka Prefecture. Pal-san named the first kiln Takuma-gama. He built three more kilns, Uchigaso-gama, Yamada-gama, and Shirahata-gama. At Shirahata-gama Pal-san was instructed by the Japanese Tea Master Kobori Enshu. Under Kobori Enshu's guidace Pal-san mastered the style which became known as the Enshu-Takatori style. The special characteristics of the Enshu-Takatori style include delicate fine glazes, smooth clay body, and dignified forms. In 1665 Pal-san died at Shirhata-gama. Hachizo Takatori continued the tradition building a new kiln, Tsutsumi-gama, at the present location outside of the Village of Koishihara in Fukuoka Prefecture. Seizan Takatori contiued the Enshu-Takatori traditon as the 11th generation of the Takatori Family at Tsutsumi-gama. Seizan Takatori invited apprentices from Pal-san's Korean town and from the United States to study the Enshu-Takatori style. George Peterson was one of the five american apprentices to study with Seizan Takatori. After completing the apprenticeship in 1978 George Peterson returned to the United States to set up the kiln Tsuchizaiku in Huntington Massachusetts. In 1981 Seizan Takatori visited the kiln along with Seiji Kogo, the kiln master from Tsutsumi-gama. After an exibition in New York City which included Seizan Takatori and her American and Korean apprentices, Mr. Seiji Kogo stayed on at the kiln to instruct George Peterson on mastering the Enshu-Takatori Style. George Peterson continues the Enshu-Takatori style in both Japanese Tea Ceremony pieces and American Dinnerware.

History of Takatori by Dr. Andrew Maske
Click Here for Photographs of ceramic pieces by Takatori Seizan.
George W. Peterson III,
111 County Road,
Huntington, MA 01050
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