Mino ceramics originate from Tajimi in Gifu Prefecture. Its birth dates back more than 1300 years and today it is the most prolific Japanese pottery.
The Koubei kiln is one of the most famous potteries in Mino. It was founded in 1804 by Koubei Kato in Ichinokura-go at the end of the Edo period (1604-1868), and soon became the official supplier to Edo Castle.
While the second generation distinguished itself by the finesse and aesthetics of its ceramic painting, its successor became passionate about the study of Chinese ceramics, deepening his knowledge and techniques. The fifth generation (1893-1982) inherited the virtuosity of their predecessor and created pieces of extreme beauty by mastering to perfection the wide range of Chinese ceramic glazing techniques. The Koubei pottery has built its foundations, generation after generation, with the creation of many masterpieces.
After years of research, Takuo Kato, the sixth in line (1917-2005), reconstructed the techniques of Persian ceramics and polychrome glaze. He brought his creativity to life by producing pieces based on these methods, combining blue glaze, metallic lustre glazes and sancai. For these achievements, he has been recognised as a living national treasure of Japan.