【Kiyomizu-Ware】 Traditional Handicrafts of Kyoto with a History of more than 400 Years

Making Process

Blending Soil

Since Kyoto does not produce potter’s clay, the clay is sourced from various regions and blended them together for the craft. Therefore, the clay has a variety of different impressions.


There are various skills to mold ceramics such as using potter’s wheel, twist, and casting. In the molding process, in which moistened clay is placed on a potter’s wheel and molded, the design relies on tactile sensations backed by the craftsman’s many years of experience.


This is a process that requires concentration, as machining is not just to improve the appearance, but to reduce weight to the utmost limit.

Painting patterns on ceramics

It has colorful and highly flexible designs such as flowers, birds, winds, and the moon. You can visually feel the warmth of people.


The firing process is carried out at approximately 1,200 to 1,300°C to change the substances contained in the base and glaze to complete the piece.Some pieces may be fired multiple times depending on the work.

You can watch the making process on YouTube!

What is Kiyomizu-Ware also known as Kyo-Ware

Kiyomizu ware (Also known as Kyo ware) is a general term for ceramics, which refers to the pottery arts and works of Kyoto. On top of that, the biggest characteristic of Kiyomizu pottery is that it differentiates itself from other ceramics from different prefectures by applying beautiful colored patterns to its pottery and using a variety of techniques. In addition, as Kyoto has a limited production of clay, different types of clay are imported from other areas of Japan and mixed through trial and error to create Kiyomizu pottery with a great deal of originality. In other words, each craftsman uses different techniques and materials, resulting in a wide variety of ceramics and porcelain, even within the same Kiyomizu pottery.

History of Kiyomizu-Ware

Kiyomizu pottery expanded its production scale as a ceramic ware after Momoyama period (1573-1600). Around this time, the culture of the tea ceremony began to spread in Kyoto, and the beauty of Kiyomizu pottery was appreciated by many tea masters, spurring the popularity of Kiyomizu pottery. In addition, during the early Edo period (1603-1868), many Kiyomizu pottery craftsmen created and introduced many ceramics with excellent designs, and Kiyomizu pottery is still recognized today as Kyoto’s representative ceramic pottery.
In addition to the culture of the tea ceremony, Kyoto is a home of a variety of other traditional arts, such as flower arrangement (Ka-do華道) and the art of burning fragrant woods and appreciating the fragrance they produce (ko-do / 香道). To support these traditional Japanese cultures, Kyo / Kiyomizu ware have undergone various design changes and developed not only in Japan but also throughout the world.

How to Enjoy the World-renowned Kyo Ware / Kiyomizu Ware

Kiyomizu pottery has experienced changes over its long history and continues to attract many fans of Kyo pottery through their role as daily necessities that fit into people’s lifestyles. Kyo pottery, which has various designs and can be blended into multiple spaces, is receiving attention not only from Japan but also from overseas. In 2021, the “Kyo / Kiyomizu Ware Exhibition” was held at Times Square, one of the largest shopping spots in Hong Kong, co-sponsored by Kyoto Prefecture. More than 30 works were displayed with sake and incense produced in Kyoto there. Many visitors were impressed by the beauty and practicality of Kiyomizu pottery, and many of them made purchases. Today, Kyo pottery is gaining positive reputation from all over the world for its unique use that creates a different atmosphere in each work, such as those who use it for everyday use and those who enjoy it as an ornamental item.
Why don’t you purchase Kyo / Kiyomizu Ware, one of the few crafts that support traditional Japanese culture as a representative of Japanese ceramics, and incorporate them into your personal life in a variety of enjoyable ways?

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