Asian Antiques Appraisals And Valuations

Satsuma Ware History, Best Makers And Value

Satsuma ware is a type of Japanese pottery known for its creamy white glaze and intricate hand-painted designs. Originating from the Satsuma region of Japan, this exquisite pottery has a long and storied history, dating back to the 16th century. Let’s explore the rich history and enduring appeal of Satsuma ware.

Origins and Early Development

Satsuma ware traces its origins to the late 16th century, when Korean potters were brought to Japan during the Japanese invasion of Korea. These potters settled in the Satsuma region of southern Japan and began producing pottery using traditional Korean techniques. Over time, the pottery produced in Satsuma evolved to incorporate Japanese aesthetics and styles, giving rise to the unique and distinctive Satsuma ware.

One of the defining characteristics of early Satsuma ware is its creamy white glaze, which gives the pottery its signature appearance. The glaze was made from a combination of local materials, including feldspar and quartz, which were abundant in the Satsuma region. The pottery was typically decorated with hand-painted designs featuring intricate patterns, mythical creatures, and scenes from Japanese folklore.

Rise to Prominence

Satsuma ware gained popularity in the late 16th and early 17th centuries, becoming highly prized by the aristocracy and samurai class in Japan. The pottery was known for its exquisite beauty and fine craftsmanship, with each piece being a work of art in its own right. Satsuma ware was often used in tea ceremonies and other traditional Japanese rituals, where its beauty and elegance were appreciated and admired.

One of the reasons for Satsuma ware’s popularity was its association with the Shimazu clan, who ruled the Satsuma region and were great patrons of the arts. The Shimazu clan encouraged the production of Satsuma ware and provided support to the potters, allowing the craft to flourish and evolve over time.

Top Makers and Styles

Some of the most renowned makers of Satsuma ware include:

  1. Kinkozan: The Kinkozan family was known for its exquisite Satsuma ware, which often featured elaborate designs and intricate patterns. The family’s work was highly prized and sought after by collectors.
  2. Yabu Meizan: Yabu Meizan was a master potter who produced some of the finest Satsuma ware of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His work is characterized by its meticulous detail and vibrant colors.
  3. Hododa: Hododa was another prominent maker of Satsuma ware, known for its delicate designs and elegant style. Hododa’s work is highly collectible and is prized by collectors around the world.


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