Traditional Style at the Takatori Family

The Takatori family business is still based in a beautiful thatched building with a packed earth entranceway, rising up to a tatami room displaying a wonderful selection of their tea ceremony ware.

Japanese screen and shelving over packed earth floor at the Tatami Kiln

Beautiful interior of the Takatori family kiln: traditional shelving and shoji screen with packed earth floor

Their kiln too is an old-fashioned wood-fired noborigama kiln, although they have several other kilns. An electric kiln for quick sampling, a gas kiln, a kerosene kiln as well as the noborigama and another wood-fired kiln.

Wood-fired noborigama at the Takatori kiln

On the side of this picture, you can see a stack of old thatch. In the spirit of Japanese mottainai, they are going to make a thatch-ash glaze for some of their new works to recycle the old thatch.

Thatching in Japan

Traditionally, susuki was grown on a field owned by 10 families, and each year, one of the families would take the harvest to thatch some of their buildings. Unfortunately, this co-oprative way of managing the countryside is dying out. Fewer people want the stress and responsibility of managing old thatched buildings, but the Takatori family persist and it was wonderful to talk to the thatchers when we were there in 2018.