The Wonder 500

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Kawara Shokki (Tile tableware)

The traditional production of Sekishu-gawara tiles is a local industry of the Ishimi region of Shimane prefecture boasting a history of 400 years. Kawara Shokki is tableware made from Honkimachi-gawara, a type of Sekishu-gawara tiles with a distinct reddish brown hue. The potter, Kametani Ceramics Co., Ltd., is committed to using 100 percent natural material from mud to glaze, and maintains a traditional production method passed down for 400 years, baking the tiles at a temperature of 1,350 degrees Celsius, which is hot enough to damage the kiln. Sekishu-gawara tiles baked at this high heat are reputed to be hard and sturdy. Because of this process, there are differences in color and texture in each tile, making each piece one-of-a-kind. Kawara Shokki embodies the Japanese skills of traditional manufacturing that have carved out the landscape of Japan over 400 years.