Historic Satsuma ware featuring delicate carvings and patterns

As Satsuma ware was manufactured under direct orders from the lord of the Satsuma Domain, it was considered o-niwa-yaki (meaning, pottery for the lord’s personal use alone). Excluding a brief period at the end of the Tokugawa shogunate during which Satsuma ware was exported to Europe, it was never available for purchase by the general public. It was manufactured exclusively for use by the lord of the domain, and used as tributes and gifts from the Satsuma Domain. The innumerable lines of crazing across its ivory-colored surface and intricate gold-leaf overglaze exude an air of refinement. During the Edo period, many large-sized pieces of Satsuma ware were produced that featured paintings over their entire surfaces. However, in modern times, as the target audience has shifted to the general public, works with many unpainted spaces can be seen, perhaps in order to produce items that can be purchased at lower prices.

I, Keizan, feel pride in the peerless craftsmanship of the delicate paintings and intricate patterns in our pottery. Satsuma ware also includes incense burners with woven-bamboo patterned openwork which we are proud of to the world. Although these are characterized by their inhumanly elaborate carvings, they also feature paintings unique to Satsuma ware called “wari-monyo,” which are subduedly applied as though to support the carvings.

Produced by a parent-child trio
White Satsuma ware with over 400 years of tradition

I, Keizan, opened the kiln in its current location in 1947 after quitting my job as a company worker, and while I started out as a painter, I later began producing my own porcelain. I had been learning pottery since childhood by assisting my father Keizan, and now, the name Keizan has entered its second-generation. Satsuma ware and other types of painted pottery are usually produced by multiple craftsmen who specialize in different stages of production, but I hold to the production principle of delivering authentic works directly to customers through efforts to produce a more careful and detailed finish by handling forming, firing and painting all on my own.

Satsumayaki vase
Work scenery of Nanshukoubou Work scenery of Nanshukoubou Work scenery of Nanshukoubou

Pottery Manufacturer Overview

Trade Name Keizan-Gama Nanshu Workshop
Address 6-5 Jigenji-cho, Kagoshima-shi, 891-0146
TEL 099-801-1962
Kiln Master Satoshi Uchiyama
Established 1947
Contents of business Production and sale of Satsuma ware (white Satsuma, incense burners, large openwork sake cups, large sake cups, tableware, tea utensils, tea vessel sets, sake vessels, etc.)