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)

The rich history of Mino Ware dates back over 1400 years to the earthen vessel period. "Mino" refers to the southern area of Gifu Prefecture, nestled in the heart of the "Land of Clear Waters," renowned for its pristine rivers flowing through ancient forests and picturesque mountains. The region yields a diverse range of fine clays, providing the foundation for continuous craftsmanship.

During the early 1600s, one of the most renowned Mino styles was Oribe, named after a prominent tea master. Oribe ware typically featured asymmetrical forms and a variety of glazes, predominantly green and black. Today, the art of Mino Ware encompasses a wide array of techniques, including throwing, molding, glazing, decorating, and firing.

While some artisans remain dedicated to producing traditional Mino ceramics, others are at the forefront of innovation, exploring new expressions and creative forms to shape the future of Mino Ware.