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Karatsu ware (Karatsu-yaki), a style of Japanese pottery flourished during the latter-half of the 16th century. Out of Karatsu, the early Karatsu (ko-karatsu) has fascinated many, a production of austere beauty and elegant simplicity of the works of craftsmen.
I, myself was one of them, attracted to the beauty of ko-karatsu fragments encountered during my many trips to Saga. When I was in doubt of how to express ceramics into garments, I contacted Yasumoto Kajiwara, a ceramic artist in Karatsu.

To my endless and broad question of what ko-karatsu is, Mr. Kajiwara handed me a newspaper clipping that he had serialised.
I was nervous, but Mr. Kajiwara told me to have some tea and help him, and we headed to the studio to sort out his works just returned from his show. In a dimly lit room, he opens each piece wrapped in newspaper one by one. Teapots, plates, sake cups, some unable to identify. In the narrow light, carefully wrapped in newspaper are unfolded and I turned over a bowl I happened to hold. The unglazed areas on the higher ground of the bowl had the colour of clay itself. Mr. Kajiwara tells me that the clay used is from around his house. When I looked out the window, I saw a large chunk of rock from the garden. I realised that these pottery pieces include the colour of the mountains around.
In front of me were countless shades of grey, none of which were the same.

Before the dawn of domestic porcelain production, the greyish-brown earth colour was created through trial and error by potters of the time, recalling the colours of the region and the vestiges of lost craftsmanship. The colour of the earth is an accumulation of memories, the shades shifting from reddish warm grey to beige are the many landscapes I saw in Saga.

As I returned, I read the newspaper clipping I received from Mr. Kajiwara. It read, “I kept thinking that if it was real, I wouldn’t get bored of it.” It was dusk, and from the train window I could see the greenery of plants growing on the surface of rocks and the setting sun.
As I took in the scenery, I looked down and drew a line under those words.