Kyushu Ceramic Museum
Learn about the birthplace of Japanese porcelainBy Elizabeth Sok
With an impressive permanent collection and frequent special events, the museum is a must-see for pottery and history lovers alike.
A History of Ceramics in Kyushu
With a collection totaling over 30,000 objects, the Kyushu Ceramics Museum is the place to learn about the development of pottery in the region.
In the first room, visitors will learn about the ceramics produced in historical Hizan, the area that now includes Saga and Nagasaki Prefectures, their use in daily life and the exportation of Arita ware to Europe in centuries past.
The second room features the Mr. and Mrs. Shibata Collection which includes over 10,000 objects from Japan’s feudal period, a selection of which are on display here.
Moving to the third room, visitors will be able to explore ceramics produced in the wider Kyushu region with examples of the first porcelain produced in Japan. Contemporary ceramics from Kyushu are in the spotlight in the fifth room and feature works using a variety of techniques from traditional to avant-garde.
Finally, the last room contains a general exhibition room as well as a space for tea ceremonies. While there is plenty to see in the exhibit rooms, there are a few impressive pieces on display elsewhere as well, such as the Karakuki Musical Clock in the Main Hall.
The museum often hosts special events that the whole family can enjoy. Past events have included hands-on workshops where participants could make Japanese wind chimes, fans and origami.
For a special experience, donated Arita dishware from the Mr. and Mrs. Shibata Collection was made available to visitors enjoying a snack at the museum cafe. Be sure to check the event schedule ahead of time to see what awaits.
Getting off your feet
When you need to take a break, stop by Cafe Terrace Aya on the third floor. If you’re in the mood for something to drink, the cafe has a selection of teas, coffee, juices and sodas, while those needing a bite to eat will find Japanese curry, pasta, pilaf, and a variety of desserts. As you wait for your order to arrive, be sure to check out the Arita ware on sale and consider picking up something for your home.