Beauty of Crackles | Hagi-Yaki
Hagi ware (Yamaguchi Prefecture) is characterized by its unique earthy texture, which is created by the rough, low-compacted clay.
Due to the coarseness of the clay, it is highly permeable, retains water, and retains heat. Moisture penetrates through the fine cracks on the surface created by the difference in shrinkage between the clay and the glaze, and it reaches the surface from inside the vessel.
This penetration causes the color of the vessel to gradually change as it is used, creating an indescribably wabi-like taste.
This change is known as the “Hagi-no Nanabake” (seven transformations of Hagi) and is a characteristic charm of Hagi ware. This is one of the most beautiful view of Hagi ware, the pottery will look better and richer as you use it.
The part of the ring that holds the body and waist of the tea bowl is called "Koudai", and the part of this Koudai that is cut off is called "Kiri Koudai" or "Wari Koudai".
It is said that this Koudai is also a characteristic of Hagi ware, but this style exists in other ware as well, and Hagi ware does not necessarily have a cut.
There are many theories as to why. Some say it is to make it easier to bind the cups together and tie them with rope, some say it is to express imperfection, and some say it is to deliberately create chips so that the common people can use them.
Regarding tea wares, there is an old saying in Japanese that is ''One, Raku; two, Hagi; three, Karatsu.'' This old tea adage indicates the rank of tea wares preferred for tea ceremonies. It implies that tea wares with distinguishing characteristics of earthy feel and looks are most valued.