Hizen Porcelain’s Arrival in Joseon


The term “Hizen (肥前)” originally referred to the geographical area of Saga (佐賀) Prefecture of Northern Kyushu and Nagasaki Prefecture in Japan. The region of Hizen was well-known as an early center for Japanese Porcelain production. Hizen porcelain from the area, was variously known as Imari porcelain (伊万里磁器) since it was exported through the Imari (伊万里) port, or Arita porcelain (有田磁器) after the location where it was manufactured. The town of Arita became especially well-known in Korea after the Korean ceramicist Lee Sampyeong (李參平) established his Dengudani (天狗谷) workshop in the area.

Celadon Dish Shard with Mold-impressed Peony Design Excavated in Doryeom-dong (都染洞)  in Seoul (靑磁牡丹文接匙片)

Edo period, Late 17th century, H. 2.8cm, W. 8.8cm, Seoul Baekje Museum of Korea (Seo-wi H12717) ⓒ Seoul Baekje Museum of Korea

Celadon Dish with Peony Flower Design

(靑磁牡丹文長皿)

Edo period, 1650-1670s, H. 2.8cm, (mouth) D. 8.9cmx17.8cm, (bottom) D. 4.6cmx13.5cm, The Mr. & Mrs. Shibata Collection of Kyushu Ceramic Museum of Saga Prefecture of Japan (01815), ⓒKyushu Ceramic Museum of Saga Prefecture of Japan

Celadon Dish Shard with Mold-impressed Peony Design Excavated in Doryeom-dong in Seoul is a Japanese ceramic shard excavated in Doryeom-dong, Jongno-gu, in Seoul. It is one of the earliest examples of Hizen porcelain discovered in Korea. The shape and pattern of the ceramic is very similar to the “Celadon dish with peony flower design” that was produced in a private kiln in the region of Arita. Based on these close similarities, it is likely that “Celadon dish shard” and other Japanese ceramics excavated in Doryeom-dong were originally produced at the Arita kiln site.

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