• Tansei gama Image
  • Tansei gama Image
  • Tansei gama Image
  • Tansei gama Image

About Tansei gama

The exterior of Studio Showroom Tansei gama was founded in 1897 by the grandfather of Seiich Onishi.
Although almost all types of pottery were fired in ascending kilns until 40 years ago, electric and gas kilns are much useful, reasonable, and convenient for ceramists to use today.
When the time comes to fire the pottery, the artisans don't sleep until the entire process is completed because they must tend to the fire the whole time.
In addition, many works of pottery that are fired in ascending kilns are much more prone to breaking while being fired, in comparison to pieces fired in electric or gas kilns. Despite the many inefficiencies and risks that come with
using ascending kilns, Seiich Onishi, a traditional Tansei-gama craftsman only fires his items in ascending kilns because he believes that there is a certain essence to his pottery that can only be achieved by using this long-established method.
Master Onishi thanks to all with a big smile.

Artifact Information

Artifact NameTanba Tachikui-yaki : ware
History Tanba-yaki is a type of Japanese earthenware, well known for being produced from one of the six remaining kilns ( Seto, Tokoname, Shigaraki, Bizen, Echizen and Tanba) of olden Japan. Its origin stem from the late Heian era to the beginning of the Kamakura era (around 1000 years ago).
The hole type kiln was used until Momoyama era (1568~), but the Korea-type, semiground "ascending kiln" was introduced around 1611. At the same time, a left turning potter's wheel (exclusive to Tachikui Village in Japan) was adopted and is still used to this day. After Tanba Kuitachi-yaki and its craftsmen were patronized by Shinoyama Domain, several craftsmen, Naosaku, Ichifusa, Kayu, and Ichiko, rose to fame. The fierce, yet friendly nature of their competition allowed Tanba Tachikui-yaki to become popular and gain an audience. In 1978, Tanba Tachikui-yaki was designated as a traditional craft by the nation.
Episode The artisans at Tansei gama mainly use nandina leaves for their pottery works because these particular leaves are considered to be a good luck charm, turning bad luck into good.
Manufacturing Method Clay preparation/Kneading ⇒ Forming/Molding※After forming the pottery, a leaf is delicately placed on its surface, before being glazed.
When fired, the leaf is scorched from the high temperatures of the kiln, leaving behind a leaf shaped imprint on the pottery. ⇒ Triming ⇒ Natural drying (3-4days) ⇒ Bisque firing ⇒ Glazing ⇒ Glaze firing
※When it's time to fire the pottery, the artisans don't sleep until this entire process is completed because they have to tend to the fire the whole time.

The Traditional Craftsman Profile

Craftsman Name
Craftsman Seiichi OnishiSeiichi Onishi
  • 1951 Born in the Tachikui, Hyogo Prefecture where Tanba-yaki was born.
  • 1974 Started training under the wing of his father.
  • 1979 Awarded his first prize at the Modern Tanba Ceramics Exhibition.
  • 1981 Exhibited his works at the Kobe Portpia '81Exhibition.
    Exhibited his works at the National Folk Art Kiln Exhibition in Osaka.
  • 1981-1985 Won a prize at the Hyogo Arts and Crafts National Open Call Exhibition.
  • 1982 Trained professionally in Korea.
  • 1983 Obtained a certificate of completion at the College of Industrial Technology in Hyogo.
    Joined the art department of the Junior Chamber International Japan.
  • 1988-1995 Held a solo exhibition at the arts and crafts hall 「Doizaki」 in Fukuoka.
  • 1997-2001 Won the newcomer prize at the 69th SHINKOZO EXHIBITION TOKYO and continued to win various other awards until 2001.
  • 2002 Offered to be a member of the Shinkozo Association.
  • 2008 Accepted a ceramic art student from Finland.
  • 2010-2013 Held solo exhibitions at the Hanshin Department Store in Osaka.
  • 2013 Held a solo exhibition at the art gallery 「Mon」in Ginza, Tokyo.
    Certified as a traditional craftsman of the designated Tanba Tachikui ware by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
    Since 1979- Has been holding solo exhibitions at famous department stores and galleries throughout Japan.

An ascending kiln

Kiln An ascending kiln is a traditional ceramic furnace built along the topography of slopes. The inner workings of the ascending kiln consist of several divided compartments. The process of convenction in conjunction with gravity's natural powers enable the extremely high temperatures within these compartments to constantly keep running. This method allows large quantities of pottery to be fired at the same time. In other words, there are no irregularities among any of the fired products.


Yohen sample When pottery is fired in an ascending kiln at 1,300 degrees celcius for 60 hours, it is natural for the ashes from the burning firewood to cover it.
The aftermath of the hot glaze and ashes melding together creates unique colors and patterns on the pottery known as YOHEN. Yohen is one of the most special characteristics of Tanba-yaki. Although Tanba-yaki was created for the daily use of average citizens, their pieces are so well made, that some people enjoy collecting them as fineart.


A red clay that is very rich in iron and can be found in the Tanba-Tachikui area. Depending on the temperature of the kiln, the color of the Akadobe clay will vary, ranging from a reddish brown to a deep purple.

Location & Address

■ 丹誠窯: Tansei gama

The exterior of Studio
Postal code
40 Shimotachikui kondacho Sasayama Hyogo
Reservation is required
Business hours
9:00 - 17:00
No scheduled