Hagi Ware - The Beauty of Crackles
Hagi ware is a type of pottery produced in the Hagi area of Yamaguchi Prefecture.
Hagi ware has long been known as a favorite of tea masters, and there is a saying, “First Raku, second Hagi, and third Karatsu"
Because the clay is coarse, it has high permeability, water retention, and heat retention properties. Moisture permeates through fine cracks on the surface (kannyu), which are created by the difference in shrinkage rate between the clay and glaze, and reaches from inside the vessel to the surface.
After many years of use, tea and sake permeate through these cracks, changing the color of the vessel's surface appropriately and giving it a withered appearance.
This penetration gradually changes the color of the vessel as it is used more and more, giving it an indescribable wabi-like flavor.
This change is called "Hagi's seven transformations" and is a characteristic appeal of Hagi ware.
The foot of pottery is called "takadai," and some Hagi ware takadai are partially cut, called kiri-takadai or split-takadai.
This kiri-takadai is also said to be a characteristic of Hagi ware, but it is not limited to Hagi ware, nor is it necessarily cut.
Hagi ware was initially a high-class pottery used as an official kiln of the domain, and common people were not allowed to use it.
Therefore, there is a theory that the origin of Hagi ware is that it was made available to the general public by deliberately cutting into this high part to make it "unauthorized" or "damaged”. Another theory is that it was easier to hang a rope used for stacking vessels.