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Seto Pottery Town

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Seto Pottery Town

Seto Pottery Town

Seto has a long history of producing ceramics. It is confirmed that the town has produced ceramics since the 10th century, but nearby in the Sanage hills there is evidence that it can be longer. Seto is one of the six most important ancient kiln towns along with Bizen, Echizen, Tanba, Tokoname, and Shigaraki. The first glazed ware (koseto) in Japan were produced in Seto in the late 10th century and was made for Buddhist Artifacts. Even though the town has a long history, ceramics did not take off until the Kamakura Period when Toshiro Kato, a pottery master, set up his kiln in Seto. He is referred to as the founder of Seto because he was the one to highly value the clay. The pair of mythical lions at the Fukagawa Shrine are said to be his work. At the Suehiko Shrine, Toshiro Kato’s spirit is enshrined there. In Toso Park there is also a monument of him, which is made out of china.

At Kamagami Shrine, an Edo Period potter by the name Tamikichi Kato is enshrined there. He is the one who brought the secrets of porcelain from Arita in Kyushu to Seto. A bronze statue of Tamikichi can be found on the shrine grounds. There are a few ceramics festivals throughout the year. There Is the Setomono Festival and Maneki Neko Festival in September, Seto Toso Festival in April, and the Seto Pottery Studio Fair and Market in November. Several ceramics museums can be found in Seto, which are Seto-gura Museum, Seto Ceramics & Glass Art Center, Seto City Art Museum, Maneki Neko Museum, Seto Novelty Children’s Creative Center, Seto Municipal Center of Multimedia and Traditional Ceramics, and Kamagaki no Komichi Museum/Gallery.