top of page
© Copyright

Two climbing kilns in Hora area, from 1911 Aichi Business Treasure Book Complete Complete"

Collection of Setogura Museum

Seto and Hora Area

Around our museum

History of Hora area : The beginning of pottery making is the 13th century. In the begining of the 19th century, when the word “Hongyo” began to be used, in order to differentiate itself from the surrounding areas.

At the beginning of the 19th century, many kilns in Seto Village changed their business from pottery to porcelain production. From the 19th century to 20th century, the number of kilns producing porcelain increased.

About 100 years ago, the Hora area had a multi-chambered climbing kiln on the hill behind it that fired large pottery such as jars, and under the hill there was many coal kiln chimneys for burning porcelain tableware.

© Copyright

Seto village hearth, the 19th century, Collection of the Setogura Museum

The Seto River flows to the left and right, and the place name "Horajima" is drawn on the upper right along with the village of Hora.


Kamagaki no Komichi (Path Lined With Kiln Furniture)

The town of Seto is flanked by mountains to the north and south, and the valley that lies between is known as the Hora area. In the early 19th century, kilns began to fire porcelain in addition to the traditional stoneware. The Hongyogama kiln was a large multi-chambered kiln that produced cooking utensils such as grinding bowls and vats, along with tableware including bowls and plates. Other Seto kilns fired porcelain novelty items for export. Seto prospered as a major Japanese pottery center.

Pots are loaded in a climbing kiln using shelves and props made of refractory clay. The pots are stacked in clay boxes known as saggars to protect them from direct flame and ash. After repeated use, kiln furniture cracks and must be replaced. Instead of discarding it, local residents repurposed their kiln furniture to use instead of cinder blocks or bricks as building foundations, walls, fences, and retaining walls. Such kamagaki, or “kiln walls,” can be found around Seto, but the 400 meter kamagaki no komichi (“path lined with kiln furniture”) is an especially well-preserved legacy. Along with serving as a testament to the massive volume of pottery produced here, it also demonstrates the care with which local potters treated their tools.



The Hora Grove of Old Kiln Sites

There are many old Seto kiln sites in these hills. Now the area is a park that is open to the public. In the east corner we can find the remains of an old pottery factory.

bottom of page