Arita and Imari

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Arita (Lc) and Imari (ɖ) are two towns in western Saga Prefecture that are known for pottery. They were the first place in Japan where porcelain was produced about 400 years ago after kaolin - the mineral essential to making porcelain - had been found at a local mountain and craftsmen with the necessary skills had been brought from Korea into the country.

The new technology was an extremely valuable resource for the local ruler because porcelain was better and stronger than contemporary pottery and sold very well inside and outside of Japan. The town of Arita and the isolated mountain village of Okawachiyama served as the two main sites of production, while Imari served as the port from where the finished products were shipped out.

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Arita Town

Where porcelain was first produced in Japan.

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Page last updated: February 26, 2016