|History of Imari Porcelain
|During the Sengoku Period (1477 - 1573), Japan was in the civil war and the country was divided and ruled by
the war lords. They were constantly struggling and fighting each other for their territories. On the contrary, there
were growing trends among them to practice chonoyu also known as sado in Japanese, a ceremonial tea drinking
culture. Very expensive imported tea ware were highly prized by them. Oda Nobunaga (1546-1582), one of the
winning samurai lords who came very close to unify the country, also appreciated chanoyu as well as others.
After he was killed by Akechi Mitsuhide at the Honnoji Temple, then Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1536 -1598) became a
ruler of Japan. During his reign, between 1592 and 1598, Hideyoshi started a war against China and under his
order many daimyo lords were sent to Korea with their armys. This Hideyoshi's War against China invading
Korea, was failed and ended at the time of his death. Upon the return of their armys, many of the participating
lords including Nabeshima Naoshige (1538 -1618) of Saga Han (territory), brought back many groups of potters
to their own territories. In the early 17th century, it is said that one of the Korean potters first discovered porcelain
clay at Izumiyama in a current town of Arita and started to make porcelain ware for the first time in the Japanese
history. Hideyoshi's War against China is called "Chawn Senso" which can be translated as "Tea Cup War".
When the porcelain industry started and grew after the discovery of the porceain clay at Izumiyama, the more
factories were built around the area. In 1637, the Nabeshima government organized and placed the strict
restriction on the numbers of the factories in the territory. The porcelain industry in Saga ruled by Nabeshima
Clan was established and it continued until the end of the Edo period.