Iga, the home of Iga yaki, is a small castle town in the mountains of Mie prefecture, famous as the birthplace of Iga ninja. Geographically, Iga is very close to Shigaraki in Shiga prefecture and as a result the wares share certain common characteristics. Once situated on the bed of Lake Biwa (Japan's largest lake), Iga benefitted from the lake's shift east to Shiga pref. due to changes in the earth's crust over 1.2 million years ago. Good quality clay, rich in minerals was left behind and this has made Iga yaki extremely resistant to heat. As a result the wares react well to repeated firing, giving craftsmen an excellent opportunity to experiment with different firing techniques. Iga yaki epitomises the Japanese aesthetic of "wabi sabi" with its rustic appearance and irregular forms. Many pieces are covered with the classic "bidoro" glassy glaze which is formed by the ash in a hot kiln. Inspired and dynamic, Iga ware is a combination of careful planning on the part of the craftsmen and their ability to give free rein to the impetuous forces of nature within the confines of the kiln, producing pieces which are created from the earth and shaped by the nature that surrounds them.
A sushi set for two! Includes 2 plates, 2 soy dishes and 2 pairs of chopsticks. Both the plates and the soy dishes feature "Iga Finish" in a split clay and gloss green. The plates are 8.25 x 5 inches. The shallow soy dishes are 2.75 inches square. The chopsticks are a twisted bamboo and are 9 inches long. All parts are made in Japan and are packaged in a nice black gift box made of recycled cardboard.