"ARITA PORCELAIN LAB" is the modern brand name of the Yazaemon Kiln, which was established over 200 years ago. It is one of Arita’s oldest and largest-scale operating kilns.
Our luxury and modern style of Arita porcelain pieces are created one by one by handwork of skilled artisans, taking advantage of the unique techniques inherited in tradition of Yazaemon kiln, which evolved through countless trials.
Arita porcelain is one of Japan's traditional handicrafts. The traditional techniques used to make Arita porcelain have been improved on with craft and design to meet the needs of modern lifestyles. The result is a simple, contemporary style of vessel, produced with the finest handwork expected from Japan's artisans.
Our own glaze has been developed through countless trials. Our proficient artisans apply the paint individually to every piece, to create a high-quality deep radiance. The traditional method of firing at high temperature of 1300c for 3 days, result in thin, light and durable finish.
Our vessels are created one by one by brush work of skilled artisans, using the unique colors created by techniques inherited in tradition of Yazaemon kiln, to realize the variations of color and textures that express the beauty of Japanese four seasons. The brush finish on the surface creates unique shades and elegance.
"JAPAN series" design is the modern version of Kissho pattern, which is the traditional style of Arita ware, which is said to be a good omen since ancient times. Kissho pattern has been frequently used in Arita ware, wishing to enrich both the material and spiritual sides of the user’s life, which we wish to deliver through our vessel to everyone around the world.
Since 1804, when Matsumoto Yazaemon I opened his kiln in Hizen Arita's Sarayama Kankoubira neighborhood, Yazaemon has been producing traditional “Ko-Imari-ware” through seven generations over 200 years, and became one of Arita's largest porcelain producers.
40 of skilled craftsmen are working at Yazaemon kiln from forming to fusing to enable consistent production, in order us to deliver the true valuable Arita porcelain products.
Yazaemon Matusmoto was born the second son of Heizaemon Matsumoto, the founder of kiln-fire ceramics in Kamikohirayama. Upon coming of age and gaining independence, he established Yazaemon Pottery in 1804.
He was born the eldest son of the first Yazaemon in 1823. He succeeded to Yazaemon status after the death of his predecessor in 1838, when he was 16.
When he was 21, he took over the kiln, and succeeded to the 3rd Yazaemon status. In 1888, together with like-minded people, he established the finance company Kyoei Corporation, for public benefit and local industrial development. He also contributed to the establishment of Nakadaru cargo station and in 1909, to the opening of Kamiarita Station, operated by Kyushu Railway. This dramatically changed the method of distribution of Arita ceramics, and allowed Arita merchants a stronghold in the market previously monopolized by Imari merchants.
In order to achieve his dream of restoring Yazaemon Pottery to greatness and exporting its products overseas, he quit his job at the bank and absconded from home without his father’s permission. He then borrowed dozens of Arita ceramic samples and left Kobe for Bombay in India. After his funds ran out, he arranged travel to Durban in South Africa as a deck passenger, negotiating to make payment on delivery, of both himself and his goods - an arrangement scarcely permitted at the time. He then found work with the sole Japanese-owned commercial laundry in Durban, operated by a Mr. Iwasaki. Using his pottery as collateral to borrow money, he paid back his debt for travel and freight and continued to work at the laundry. He intended to save money for travel to Europe, but after just two and half years in Durban, the Russo-Japanese War broke out and he was summoned back to Japan.
In 1940, the 5th Yazaemon took over Arita Bussan Company, and achieved satisfactory results in domestic wholesale and trade business in the 'Yen Block': Korea, Manchuria, China.
In 1953, the trade name was changed back to the current name, Arita Bussan Co., Ltd., and shifted their market focus towards export to North America and Europe with the brand name of “Gold Imari”. They won an account in Syria and Morocco and began exporting large amounts of products there.
After the floating rate system of the Japanese Yen came into effect, the Yen climbed to over 200yen, and the value of exports decreased greatly for the company, so 6th Yazaemon decided to shift the company’s focus to the domestic market. After the collapse of the bubble economy, sales got sluggish rapidly.
After graduating from the Kyushu University Department of Economics, he entered work at a city bank. He continued work there for three years, but was then called upon by his family to take over the family business to conduct civil rehabilitation of 2 billion yen debt. In order to bring back Arita porcelain to the top world level once again, he developed "ARITA PORCELAIN LAB", a brand that suit the modern lifestyle, which has gained a high reputation thanks to a new style representing the beauty of Japanese four seasons.