Kumagai Co., Ltd. was founded in Kyoto in 1935. As a wholesaler specializing in Kyoto ware, they have the largest selection of items in the area and stock about 1,200 kinds of products from tea set and tableware to interior goods such as incense burner. Kyoto ware is also known as “Kiyomizu ware” and it refers to any style of pottery produced in Kyoto Prefecture. The colorful painting with an abundance of gold color and a wide variety of styles contribute to its elegance and charm just like the historic city of Kyoto.
Having a strong network of a hundred pottery manufacturers that has been built over many years, Kumagaisoushouten Co., Ltd. are producing items which make use of the various forms of Kyoto ware and artisans’ skills. Based on their experiences of dealing with various kinds of Kyoto ware, they are trying to collaborate with designers to give them the opportunity to express their own values in combining tradition and internationality. Among their wide range of products, the “Hanakessho” (flower crystallization) series has drawn attention in Japan and abroad. The product was planned and developed by Mr. Takayoshi Kumagai who is the third-generation president of the company. The crystalline flower pattern of this series which is achieved by using a glaze containing zinc spreads on the pottery with an elegant hue. Currently, the technique is also being applied on interior wall decorations, spreading the possibilities of Kyoto ware far and wide.
In 2014, they launched a design project named “=K+”. The project’s aim was to create new innovative ceramic products by collaborating with designers and artists across cultures and fields. They continue to participate in overseas exhibitions with enthusiasm and spreading new waves from Kyoto to the world.