Behind a stone wall surrounded by rice fields in Yokkaichi Mie quietly sits a small factory called Nankei Pottery. A unique pottery that initially started off as a clay maker about 80 years ago. One of the classic pottery items made by Nankei Pottery named Kurokusube. The tea utensils that were born at Nankei Pottery came from the simple thought of wanting people to always effortlessly enjoy having tea, and from the unchanging state of tea culture itself. They began refining white clay for Taisho-yaki and red clay for teapots in 1913, after eventually steering into manufacturing pottery in which they have been active for 43 years as of today. The company is managed today by Teruhiko Araki, the fourth-generation owner of this family-run business. Their main products are the original teapot, teacup and tableware.
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“Banko is a place of commercial production. As the origin of the pottery or production name would never be known to the rest of the world, the production area remained unknown as well” tells Araki, explaining how Nankei Pottery was manufacturing for a long time with a focus on OEM, without its own brand. Since the 1980s, many kilns have shut down due to reduced production, and thus in 2000 Nankei Pottery took over the baton as the fourth generation of leading pottery makers. Since then for almost 20 years they have continuously produced original items while reviewing conventional product plans for adjustments.
Kurokusube is the name of the teapot, their core product.