KOKO utsuwa

KOKO utsuwa (meaning "vessel" in Japanese) has collections of the Japanese pottery made with tradition and technique which has been passed down over centuries. Much of the artisan work is creatively adapted to fit modern lifestyles. The mission is to introduce the beauty and casual elegance of Japanese culture to people who would not otherwise have access it.

From the owner

I grew up in Japan and moved to the US in 2012. My hometown is in Gifu prefecture that is famous for Japanese pottery "Mino-ware". About 50% of ceramic tableware in Japan is produced from the region. My mom used to serve tea ceremony and traditional Japanese-style flower arrangement and she was a great cook (still now), my house was always surrounded by fine pottery. Since I moved to the US, I realized how much I miss Japanese pottery and how important it is to my life. The impulse and passion caused this business. I would like to share Japanese artisanal crafts with many people.

Koko Yamada

Mino Ware (Mino-yaki)

Mino Ware's history starts in the earthen vessel period, over 1400 years ago. Mino is the name which refers to the southern area of Gifu prefecture. Gifu prefecture is known as the “Land of Clear Waters” that flow through ancient forests. It is a centrally located in a landlocked region, nestled within the mountains. Many different types of fine clay are taken from this site, which produces continuous craftwork.

One of the most popular Mino style’s in the early 1600’s was Oribe, named after a famous tea master, which were typically made with asymmetrical forms and various glazes, but mostly green and black. Today there are a variety of techniques used in the throwing, molding, glazing, decorating and firing of Mino Ware. Some potters produce traditional Mino ceramics, while others are active as artists promoting the future of Mino ceramics through innovative expression and creative forms.