What is Iga-ware?
The Iga region produces a type of pottery called Iga-ware.
Blessed with high quality clay soil and abundant firewood, the people in Iga have produced pottery since earlier times.
Ko-Iga (Early Iga-ware)
In the early 17th century, Iga-ware was used for the cha no yu (tea ceremony). They are called “ko-Iga (early Iga-ware)”, typical items of which are vases and jars.
Ko-Iga represents the “wabi-sabi“, aesthetics unique to Japan that emphasize quiet simplicity.
It pursues beauty not in a refined shape, but rather in a distorted one.
The wabi-sabi aesthetic can be seen in the green-tinted glass flowing down the surface, converted from ash when heated at a high temperature, the scorches made by flames and the crack-like patterns.
In the mid-18th century, daily-use tableware such as bowls began to be made. Today, earthen pots are among the most popular Iga-ware products.
Iga-ware, with its unrefined and simple style, has been designated as a National Traditional Craft.
Iga Shigaraki Koto-kan
You can see Iga-ware at Iga Shigaraki Koto-kan and other places.
At the Iga Shigaraki Koto-kan, ko-Iga tea utensils are on display and works of modern potters are sold as well as put on display.
57-12 Ueno Marunouchi, Iga City, Mie Prefecture
Marubashira, home of Iga-ware / Iga-yaki (Iga-ware) Dento Sangyo Kaikan
Marubashira, Iga City is known as the home of Iga-ware, dotted with many potteries. At the Iga-yaki Dento Sangyo Kaikan located in Marubashira, Iga-ware is sold as well as put on display. You can also make pottery yourself (reservation required).
169-2 Marubashira, Iga City, Mie Prefecture
Iga-yaki Shinko Kyodo Kumiai: Website *only in Japanese
Kumihimo (Braided Cord)
What is Kumihimo?
Cord braiding is one of Iga’s traditional industries and has a long history.
The Iga braided cord has been designated as a National Traditional Craft as “Iga Kumihimo”.
Kumihimo is a cord made by braiding thin silk (or cotton) threads.
In the old days, kumihimo was used as a decorative cord to beautify swords and to connect intricate pieces of armors.
Today, it is used for “obijime”, a code to be tied around obi (sash) for kimono.
Varieties of kumihimo are available, colorful kumihimo braids with threads in many different colors, because and it is reminiscent Japanese tradition, a perfect gift.
Places you can buy kumihimo
Iga Kumihio Center Kumi no Sato
1929-10 Shijuku-cho, Iga City, Mie Prefecture
Website *only in Japanese
Danjiri Kaikan Museum
122-4 Ueno Marunuchi, Iga City, Mie Prefecture
- Hirosawa Tokusaburo no Mise
- Hirai Kenzo Shoten
- Maezawa Kumihimo Kobo
- Maezawa Kumihimo Ten,