• BIEN Image
  • BIEN Image
  • BIEN Image
  • BIEN Image

About BIEN

We are bringing traditional Japanese culture from Okayama to the world.
As a regional company, we deal only in the best items selected from creators who have won awards from our partner organization, the Okayama Prefecture Bizen Ceramics Association, or other worthy exhibitions.
Bizen ware is a type of pottery very familiar to the Japanese people and expresses the traditional aesthetic of Japan.
Its unique patterns and colors – greys, purplish-reds, and oranges – are applied to the brown base using nothing but earth, flame, and the natural firing process.
The resulting pottery is the quintessence of Japanese “wabi-sabi.”
We hope our Bizen ware will grant you a deeper connection with Japanese traditions and culture.

≪Handling products of the producers/ artists≫
・Taiga Mori (Artist)
・Yasushi Mori (Artist)/ Morihozan gama (Bizen-yaki producer)
・Shima Kobou (Bizen-yaki producer)
・Bishu gama (Bizen-yaki producer)
Showroom
Career
Founded in Inbe, Bizen City, Okayama Prefecture, 2016.

Artifact Information

Artifact NameBizen yaki : Earthenware
History Bizen ware is considered one of Japan’s “Six Ancient Kilns” – the most noteworthy ceramic brands in Japan – alongside the Echizen, Seto, Shigaraki, Tamba, and Tokoname wares.
Its roots come from the Sue ware that had been around since the Kofun Period in the earliest centuries AD.
Through the 8th to 13th centuries, the process was refined to increase the durability of the pottery, allowing it to better stand up to daily use.
From there, the art survived many turbulent years, breaking new ground to go from rudimentary every-day items to the works of art they are today.
In its thousand year history, the smoke has never stopped rising from the kilns of Bizen, and the city has produced five living national treasures.

*A living national treasure is:
1. An honor conferred upon those who bring together spirit, technique, and physique to send superlative products out into the world.
2. A title given to people of superior cultural accomplishment by the Japanese government in order to protect their contributions.
Kiln

Manufacturing Method

Gathering clay
1. The clay to be used as material is collected, dried, and powdered.
2. Impurities are purged in a cistern.
Working view
3. The clay is dried once more, then left to sit for months or years.
Sculpting
4. After being allowed to sit for months or years, the clay is well kneaded and sculpted.
Working view
Placing in the kiln, firing, removal
5. After shaping and drying, the products are lined up on an ascending kiln.
Working view
6. A 1,200 - 1,300 degree flame generated by pine wood is kept up to fire the pottery for a period of two weeks.
*The artisan watches over the fire without sleeping during this time period.
Working view
7. After kiln-firing is complete, it’s allowed to cool for about a week. It is only declared finished if it passes rigorous inspection.
Working view

*Weight of items may change based on the cut of wood they're taken from.

Characteristic of the old Bizen ceramic ware

ex_View17
Bizen’s “Hiyose”, a type of soil with high iron content, is fostered by the geographic conditions of Inbe in Okayama Prefecture.
This soil is wrapped with straw and then fired for two weeks at 1,200 - 1,300 degree heat using only pine wood to bring out its natural coloring.
This process for making Bizen ware has been handed down, unchanged, for over 1,000 years.
Most of the mud used to make the clay is a mixture of field dirt, mountain dirt, and black soil, left to sit for several years before it is used.
Due to the sensitivity in determining how these materials should be combined and how long they should be left to sit, the skill of the artisan has a tremendous effect on the finished product.
Allowing Bizen’s delicate, sticky soil to rest for so long allows for the propagation of over 80 types of yeasts within.
This allows for a finished product that is beautiful, moist, and glossy without the need for glaze.
Thus, the appeal of Bizen ware lies in its unassuming austerity, which eventually led it to be acknowledged by the tea masters of Kyoto, who patronized the production of many Bizen ware tea products during the Momoyama Era (1573 - 1603).

Notes

≪ATTENTION≫
・Please DO NOT use a gas or electronic stove.
・Please DO NOT put too much boiling water in the product(s) otherwise you may not hold it because of its high heat conduction.
・Please DO NOT use washing machine & microwave.
≪RECOMMENDATION≫
・You should put the product(s) in water before using - Its color will be restful looking and brighter, and it can also prevent oil damage.
・For arranging food, put a green leaf or a colored leaf under the food, especially on a big dish if you'd like it to look good.
・You may want to put a cup(s) in the refrigerator for cold drinks.
・Please use a hard sponge when you wash a product(s) by hand.

Yohen

Yohen “Yohen” is a process by which the ash that rises during firing in an ascending settles back down on top of the pottery, creating interesting color combinations and unique patterns.

Location & Address

■ BIEN

Home page Signboard
Postal code
705-0001
Address
1389-2 Inbe Bizen Okayama
Homepage
http://cojinbiyori.com/
Business hours
10:00 - 17:00
Close
Saturdays / Sundays / National holidays