The Hirado porcelainso called because it enjoyed the specia patronage of Matsuura, feudal chief of Hiradowas produced al Mikawa-uchi-yama, but did not attain excellence until.
At Hirado the ceramists affected a lighter and more delicatetone than that of the Chinese, and, in order to obtain it, subjected the choice pigment of the Middle Kingdom to refining processes of great severity.
The Hirado blue, therefore, belongs to a special aesthetic category.
So, too, the blue-and-white porcelain of Hirado, though assisted by exceptional tenderness of sous-pdte color, by milk-white glaze, by great beauty of decorative design, and often by an admirable use of the modelling or graving tool, represents a ceramic achievement palpably below the soft paste kai-pien-yao of King-te-chen.
Seven kilns are devoted, wholly or in part, to the new wares: belonging to Miyagawa ShOzan of Ota, Seiffl YOhei of KiOto, Takemoto Hayata and Kato Tomojiro of Tokyo, Higuchi Haruzane of Hirado, Shida Yasukyo of Kaga and Kato Masukichi of Seto.
1-liguchi of Hirado is to be classed with ceramrsts of the new school on account of one ware only, namely, porcelain having translucid M d decoration, the so-called grains of rice of American ~ collectors, designated holaru-de (firefly style) in Japan.
Hirado That, however, is an achievement of no small consequence, especially since it had never previously been essayed outside China.
The Hirado expert has not yet attained technical skill equal to that of the Chinese.
In other respects the Hirado factories do not produce wares nearly so beautiful as those manufactured there between 1759 and 1840, when the Hirado-yakz stood at the head of all Japanese porcelain on account of its pure, close-grained pate, its lustrous milk-white glaze, and the soft clear blue of its carefully executed decoration.
In subsequent eras the potters of King-te-chen did not fail to continue this remarkable manufacture, but its only Japanese representative was a porcelain distinctly inferior In more than one respect, namely, the egg-shell utensils of Hizen and Hirado, some of which had finely woven basket-cases to protect their extreme fragility.
Amakusa produces a little coal and fine kaolin, which was largely used in former times by the potters of Hirado and Satsuma.