• Culture
  • Oita

Onta Ware Village

In Onta Ware Village in Motoe-machi, Hita-shi, Oita, there are only 10 potters. The sound of the mortar that moves via the flow of the river has been selected as one of the protected 100 Soundscapes of Japan. In addition, at the Onta Ware Pottery Museum there are exhibits of materials and antique ceramics, and you can learn all about Onta Ware.

Since Hita's own ceramics "Onta Ware" began in the middle of the Edo Period (1603-1867), it has been handed from father to only one son to the present day. Even now, ceramic work is still done within families, preserving the traditional methods and unique styles. From the beginning of the Showa Era (1924-1989), Onta Ware became known to the world after being widely introduced by the founder of the Mingei (folk craft) movement Muneyoshi Yanagi, potter Shoji Hamada, and world famous ceramist Bernard Leach. In 1970, Onta Ware was selected as an "intangible cultural property requiring measures such as creation of records." In 1995, it was designated as an "Important National Intangible Cultural Property" along with the Onta Ware technical conservation society being certified.

Unique patterns such as "hakeme" (brush marks), "tobikana" (distinct patterns), finger drawings, "kushigaki" (combed lines), patterns by glazing, etc. are characteristic of the unique style of Onta Ware.

Onta Ware is made without using machines. It is made using only the mortar that moves via the flow of the river, the kick wheel that the potter turns with his feet, and the wood fired climbing kiln.
The sound of the mortar is one of the protected 100 Soundscapes of Japan.
The mossy mortar that continuously moves slowly with the Shishi-odoshi makes visitors feel the eternity of time.

The Onta Ware Pottery Museum exhibits materials and antique ceramics from which visitors can learn about the history and characteristic of Onta Ware.

Closed: Wednesdays (the following day should a national holiday fall on a Wednesday), and New Year's Holidays


Name Onta Ware Village
Web Sites (In Japanese) https://www.oidehita.com/archives/304
Address Sarayama, Motoe-machi, Hita-shi, Oita
Access 30 minutes by car from JR Hita Station
25 minutes by car from Oita Expressway Hita IC
Inquiries TEL: 0973-22-2036 (Hita City Tourist Association)

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