When I was in high school, I went to Hagi in Yamaguchi prefecture for a school trip. Hagi is famous for pottery called “Hagi Yaki” (yaki means ‘fired’). Hagi is located along the southwestern coast of the largest island of Honshu facing the Sea of Japan. It is one of the oldest places where pottery is made.
At the time of my school trip, I just started learning tea ceremony as one of my co-curricular activities, so I decided to buy a teacup for my tea ceremony class. When I went up to the counter to pay, the shop owner asked me if I was learning tea ceremony and I replied, “Yes, but I've only just started.”
“How nice! You should continue learning tea ceremony as long as you can and raise this teacup.”
I was puzzled at first, but later I understood what she meant. With repeated use of the teacup, the color and surface changes over the years. This evolution is known as “raising pottery”. I realized that taking care of this cup was similar to raising a child - with love and care it can grow into something amazing.
I hope you will raise your pottery/ceramics as long as possible!
Photo: Tobe town, Ehime prefecture