Mashiko-yaki ware is a type of earthenware produced in Mashiko-machi, Tochigi Prefecture, and is said to have begun as a sideline to farming when clay suitable for pottery was discovered in the area. Initially Mashiko ware consisted mainly of household utensils such as jars for storing food and pestles for use in food preparation. In 1924, the famous potter Shoji Hamada made his home in the region, and began to produce work of great impact utilizing the rustic Mashiko ware style. He also spent considerable time fostering technical skills in the region, raising the profile of Mashiko ware. At present, items produced range from household tableware to valuable decorative plates, and not only craftwork but artworks also. The characteristics that define Mashiko ware are thus not as clear as they once were. Mashiko ware was designated a traditional craft in 1979.
- Mashiko-machi, Haga-gun, Tochigi