Dai What: Koito Japanese Pottery
Hometown: Takayama City, Japan

About Dai

The History of Koito Pottery - Third Time's the Charm

Koito Pottery is one of a handful of kilns in the Hida region of Japan. The origin of Koito Pottery dates back nearly 400 years, when Lord Kanamori of Takayama City (Gifu Prefecture) invited a potter from Kyoto to set up a kiln on Koito Hill. This kiln, however, was eventually abandoned, and only a few artifacts produced in this kiln remain in the local museum today. Nearly 200 years later, two merchants financed the opening of a new kiln on Koito Hill - though that, too, was quickly abandoned within just a few short years. Alas, in the middle of the 20th century, Koito Pottery was resurrected once again by the late Saburo Nagakura, and the tradition continues today under the stewardship of Dai Nagakura and his father, Yasukuni Nagakura.

Dai's Background

Dai was born and raised in Takayama City, a small town in the foothills of the Japanese Alps. Having been born into a family of potters, pottery was naturally an integral part of his childhood. He studied metallurgy (the study of metals and alloys) at Tokyo Institute of Technology, a prestigious science and technology university. Following his studies, Dai trained for two years in Seto City, the Japanese capitol of ceramics and porcelain. He then returned home to Takayama to Koito Pottery, and has been making pottery there for the past 20 some years.

In Harmony with Nature

Dai strongly believes that Japanese pottery has a quality that is harmonious with the nature that surrounds us. This is why he insists on using only natural ingredients for his products. With natural ingredients - including the ash, clay, and glaze - he is able to achieve visibly richer, more beautiful colors. With a love for flowers, trees, and wildlife, Dai feels blessed that he gets to create his pottery in a studio that is surrounded by nature.

Photo Gallery

Video Gallery

Koito Dai making yunomi
Dai demonstrates the making of a yunomi or Japanese tea cup.
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