Mie Prefecture has many traditional products recognized throughout Japan and in the world. The ceramic art known as “Yokkaichi Banko Yaki” is recognized for its quality and beauty products such as pots, kettles, and other related products.
In the city of Yokkaichi there is a place called “Banko no Sato Kaikan” which has a magnificent display of handmade items made with the technique Yokkaichi Banko Yaki, in addition to a store with a wide variety of beautiful products. There is also an area for training and learning of this important technique in Mie’s culture.
Let’s hear the explanation of Mr. Ishizaki who will give more details about the Yokkaichi Banko Yaki and its characteristics.
“The Yokkaichi Banko Yaki originated in Asahi-cho Obuke 280 years ago in the Edo period through Nunami Ryouzan, who wished his works were perpetuated without modification, put the stamp” Banko Fueki “which means immutable Banko.
The Yokkaichi Banko Yaki came after. Formerly, it was called “Kobanko” (old Banko), that were ceramics with a high level of artistic quality. Later, Mori Yuusetsu created the technique “Kata Banko”, that are shapes assembled as a puzzle, then the clay is fixed and then remove the mold. The Banko Yaki originated through this technique, which later times gave rise to Yokkaichi Banko Yaki.
This technique Kata Banko was industrialized in Yokkaichi, producing thousands of ceramics with the same mold.
Nowadays, we manufacture this “Donabe” (clay pot). We dominate 80% of the clay pots market. And we also have the famous “Kyusu” (teapot), which was established in 1979 as a traditional craft in Japan
This is a brief history about the Banko Yaki. “
“As previously reported, the claypot is one of the characteristics of Banko Yaki. This pan is large and we call it “Hyaku nin nabe”, since it is possible to prepare food for about 100 people. This clay pot was created in 1959 in the Ceramics Research Institute of Mie Prefecture. We dominate 80% of the clay pots market. The Yokkaichi’s clay pot became known throughout the country, since it is constituted by Petalitos, a type of clay with thermal resistance, even if in contact with fire, this material is unbreakable.
There is also another unique product. The “Shidei kyusu” (purple clay teapot) was also determined as a traditional craft in Japan in 1979. In Tokoname, the clay teapot is red, but ours is purple coloring. In this region, in Suizawa, tea is also produced and, by using this teapot, tea becomes even tastier.
These two products are the ones which lead the main features of this art. “
“Customers buy much purple tea pot. And, depending on the season, there is a greater demand for products seem quite resistant to high temperatures, such as pots for cooking rice which are being sold at most. And there is a great demand for clay pots. “
And for those who wish to learn the technique of ceramics production in Yokkaichi Banko Yaki, there is a practical training available. There is the only practical training and practical trainings with determined schedules for those who want to learn more about this technique. In both practical trainings, there is a person to guide them, and the material is included in the amount charged.
The only practical training, depending on day of the week, is carried out in the morning (from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm) and afternoon (from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm). Practical for those interested in learning more this technique, according to the day of the week, is divided in 3 shifts during the morning, afternoon and evening (from 6 pm to 9 pm). You can get detailed information about the available trainings in “Banko no Sato Kaikan”.
“Today is the day class of students who come once a week, and make the products according to their imagination and creativity. There are students who come four times a month, these students have already acquired a professional level of techniques. It would be great if this tradition was passed on to other generations. “
For those who wish to visit the Banko no Sato Kaikan, the site is open everyday and is closed on Mondays. The product shop is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. In addition to the practical training and product store, the place also has a restaurant that serves only 20 meals a day, and there are rooms for rent.
The Banko no Sato Kaikan is a great place to meet this famous tradition of Mie, and spend a enjoyable day with the family and buy souvenirs and products made in Banko Yaki. Mr. Ishizaki left a message to all who wish to visit the Banko no Sato Kaikan.
“Here at the Banko Sato Kaikan we have the only practical training modeling and pottery painting, we would be very happy with the visit of all.
There is also a small restaurant, come for a visit! Yoroshiku onegai shimasu! “