Check out "Kukutani," an up-and-coming brand that breathes new life into the traditional craft of Kutani ware.
Kutani ware, a traditional Japanese porcelain loved for its vivid colors, is now turned into a skateboard? In this article, we are going to take an in-depth look into latest situation of Kutani ware.
Kutani ware is one of Japan's representative colored porcelains, characterized by the technique of using red, yellow, green, purple, and navy blue pigments to form patterns. It has its roots in the Kaga region of Ishikawa Prefecture, and its history dates back to around 1655, the age of the samurai. This technique, which produces beautiful picturesque designs, has been passed down from generation to generation and is now known as "Japan kutani," a type of pottery with great technical value that is highly prized both in Japan and overseas.
The gratest appeals of Kutani ware are its vivid colors and its delicately painted patterns.
A new initiative is recently underway to breathe fresh life into the traditional Kutani ware craft. One example is the "Kukutani" brand by skater and musician Yoshiharu Yoshida. The brand name "Kuku" means "multiplication table" in Japanese, and the company is focusing on creating products that mix the appeal of colorful Kutani ware with a modern sensibility. The company's directly-operated store, located in Komatsu City, the birthplace of the pottery stone used for the raw material for Kutani ware, offers a lineup of products made in partnership with a range of people, from long-established craftsmen to young artists.
Inside the store, innovative products catch the eye, such as a Kutani ware plate inspired by skateboards and a Kutani ware single-flower vase in the shape of a traffic cone used at construction sites. The lineup also includes humorously designed mugs, teacups, sake cups, and other practical items that make ideal souvenirs with a deep Japanese feel.
The "Kukutani" products, which update traditional crafts with casual designs, are available at the company store in Komatsu City and at stores in Tokyo, Fukuoka, and other locations, as well as at the official online shop. To get to the company store, it is recommended to fly from the Tokyo area, or take the Shinkansen or a local train.
A new bullet train is scheduled to open in March 2024 offering direct service to Komatsu City. We hope that this updated Kutani ware, together with the city's excitement as a result of the new transportation link, will form a focus for future development.
Inside the Kukutani store. Various stylish items, including Kutani ware products, are on display.
Rice bowls and teacups incorporating Kutani ware techniques.
This rice bowl is boldly dyed a body of Kutani ware in black.
A yellow sake cup shaped like a skateboard wheel.
■DATA Kukutani (STORE) *company store Address: 〒923-0921 Heijima Bldg. 1F, 193 Doihara-cho, Komatsu-shi, Ishikawa Prefecture Tel: 080-3088-4288 Opening hours: 14:00-18:00 (Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat) May be closed for certain reasons. Please check Instagram account. Kukutani Official Website: http://kukutani.com/ (Information as of November 2023)