Yesterday, I traveled to neighboring Takeo to look for some kiln ruins. Found two of them, the Otani kiln, and the Kotoge kiln. The Otani kiln is older, dating to the early 1600’s. Kotoge is a bit newer.
Both were busy during the time that porcelain production had started taking over in and around Arita. The potters of stoneware kilns were trying to make things that would sell, and it was difficult to compete with porcelain, but by changing the types of wares they produced, they succeeded for a time. Otani’s mainstay were large bowls and plates, suribachi (large combed bowls for grinding and grating foods), and other large kitchenware forms. Lots of hakeme and mishima Karatsu. In later years they also did a good deal of accenting with copper greens, and the shards at the kiln ruin attest to that.
This is the direction that Takeo went in the future, staying with stoneware and evolving into the production of large jars and other vessels for kitchen and farm use. They mass produced these things, up until recent times. Now there is only one kiln left which is known for the large coil and paddle jars.
These first two photos are of the two kiln sites (sort of ), because the Otani kiln is actually quite a bit up the mountain. What is visible from the road is the marker, and quite a few shards, kiln furniture, and broken kiln parts. The Kotoge kiln is visible from the road, marked by the white guard rails. It is quite large, running up the hill in distinct steps, at least 50 meters.
Here are some pics of the ground down below the Otani kiln site, lots of shards with wads still sticking to the feet, and lots of old suribachi pieces: