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Redware teapots are famous as typical Tokoname ware, so that one remembers red-brown
teapots immediately when one hears the name of Tokoname. It was relatively earlier
in the history of Tokoname ceramics that redware was introduced. It was during
the period from 1861 to 1864. Tea ware for green tea like teapots had been produced
since the early 19th century in Tokoname following the popularity of the custom
of green tea drinking from the late Edo era. Typical tea ware during this period
was redware produced in China. Mr. Jyumon Sugie and Nikou Kataoka started to make
redware for the first time in Tokoname.
Tokoname redware was made by the clay from rice fields which contained lots of
iron. This clay gave the ware a rich deep red color. Producing redware drastically
changed Tokoname's ceramic industry. Potters who specialize in making redware
teapots appeared in addition to those who had made conventional large products
such as jars and pots. Important to the development of Tokoname ceramics was a
Chinese potter Jin Shi Heng who was invited to teach Chinese teapot making technique
to Tokoname potters in 1878. This greatly helped the rapid development of redware
teapots. The technique of carving small letters on teapots started from the time
Jin Shi Heng came to Tokoname.
Jin Shi Heng's visit extremely influenced not only ceramic making techniques but
the craftsmanship which Tokoname's ceramic industry had previously lacked.