It once existed for only a dozen years.

Then, after a lapse of about 200 years,
it began to mark a new chapter in history again.


The most mysterious Japanese pottery

Usuki City, with the ruins of a castle overlooking the sea, beautiful countryside, and rich culinary culture, is a place with a lot to offer.

Mr. Hiroyuki Usami is pursuing a new form of Usuki ware "Usukiyaki" in Usuki City, trying to unravel the essence of mystical porcelain, which was born in the Edo period and disappeared after only a decade or so.

Like a picture frame that enhances a painting, tableware frames the cuisine. And yet, it retains a natural texture and gentle feel.

Its realization is left to the exquisite balance of human hands and nature, created by moderately distorting typical forms. 

They transcend the boundaries of the tableware as a mere tool and create a deeper and more diverse experience as art on the table.

In the past, Usuki ware was opened by Inaba, the lord of Usuki Castle, and was born through the co-creation of artisans called in from Shimabara, Koishiwara, and Komine.

Usuki ware does not have a completed recipe, but evolves gradually and delicately through an experimental process.

A new history is made not only through the production process, but also through the diversification of the occasions in which these items are used.

Hiroyuki Usami
Usukiyaki Lab.

Hiroyuki Usami

Hiroyuki Usami, the head of Usukiyaki Lab, which was established to revive Usuki ware, is a potter as well as a chef.

His restaurant, USAMI, which boasts dishes that make the most of local ingredients, is crowded daily with local residents and visitors from distant places who have heard about the restaurant. Its beautiful dishes are served on tableware of Usukiyaki. 

He is not only a maker of tableware, but also a user. Born and raised in Usuki, his DNA is filled with the natural beauty of Usuki and its rich sensibility for food.

Usukiyaki Lab

In addition to ceramic professionals, Usukiyaki Lab brings together professionals from various fields who share the vision of Usukiyaki.

Composed of people of various generations, genders, and nationalities, Usukiyaki Lab aims to create tableware that are complete only when they are served with cuisine. 

Their ultimate goal is to create simple yet gorgeous tableware that brings joy to the user every time. 

Usuki City

Usukiyaki is deeply rooted in the birthplace, Usuki City, Oita Prefecture.

Surrounded by the sea facing the Bungo Channel and mountains dotted with famous flower spots such as cherry blossoms and lotus blossoms, the city has the atmosphere of a castle town with many shrines and temples.

The mountains, the land, the sea, the farming village, and the city are all part of this very Japanese landscape.

A visit to this area will help you understand why Usuki ware was born with the motif of the beauty of natural formations, which is the characteristic feature of Usuki ware.

Usuki City has a diverse food culture, including miso, soy sauce, and sake making, which is blessed by its nutrient-rich geology and clean water. In 2021, Usuki City was certified as a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Mr. Hiroyuki Usami sees the significance of continuing to produce Usukiyaki here, and his artisans, who share his passion, are creating wonderful works of art.

Living with Nature

"We want to create products that will be used and cherished for a long time."

Behind these words lies the pride of craftsmen who devote their lives to making things, as well as a sense of gratitude to the abundant nature that nurtured them.

Inspired by nature, the shapes they create become tableware through a number of handicraft processes.

Therefore, there is a part of the process where one does not know what it will look like until it is actually fired.

Manual production has a low yield rate, which adds to the time and effort required to complete the work and makes it valuable.

They use limited resources with care and spare no effort to create products that can be used for a long time.

Only when both "makers" and "users" take care of and nurture the pottery unique to this region, which was created by the richness of nature, can it become a sustainable product that is kind to both the environment and people.

For those who want to take their everyday dining experience one step more creative.

Usukiyaki hopes to be a catalyst for you to express your ideas and personality.

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