4 April 2023

Exploring Hataman Touen Gallery

Just a stone's throw from the old sekisho "checkpoint" of Okawachiyama, a village celebrated for Imari Nabeshima ware, sits the gallery and shop of Hataman Touen. This company-operated store, complete with a manufacturing plant and showroom, welcomes visitors with a striking Western-style brick building, beautifully adorned with greenery.

Upon entering, Team Musubi was greeted by an elegant interior – the seven-tiered display of Hina dolls celebrating the season and the chic grey walls made a lasting impression. The Imari Nabeshima ware, known for its porcelain and celadon, stood out magnificently in this setting, capturing our eyes with its vivid allure. Having been baptized in the aesthetics of Hataman Touen, we were entranced to explore this jewel box of a place, and we invite you to join us in this visual journey.


  • About Hataman Touen
  • Ground Floor Gallery & Shop
  • Second Floor Showroom
  • A Conversation with Hataishi Shinji

About Hataman Touen

In 1926, the first year of the Showa era, Manyo Kiln was founded by Hataishi Mantaro. His landscape paintings would eventually become the signature motif of Hataman.

After World War II, the second generation, Hataishi Haruyuki, established Hataman Seitojo (pottery). The brand became known as Hataman during this period. The third generation, Hataishi Masahiro, renamed the company to Hataman Touen, developing unique products like boku sansui, "landscape paintings in ink." 

In 1990, the fourth generation, Hataishi Shinji, took over as president, expanding the range with items such as Hina dolls and the Nabeshima series. Since then, the company has rigorously pursued advancements in materials and manufacturing techniques, leading to the development of innovative products.

Ground Floor Gallery & Shop

Upon entering, on the central shelf located right at the front, we found an assortment of items including May festival dolls for the next seasonal decoration, perfume spray bottles, mugs known as "Rim Mugs," and slender tumblers. Just from this selection alone, one can sense the wide range and richness of the product lineup. 

The palm-sized festival dolls, each thoughtfully designed, are made to be easily displayed and enjoyed in a home setting.

In the back of the room, tableware is neatly arranged by series. Here, you'll find an array of porcelains, each reflecting the inherited elegance of Nabeshima ware with meticulous attention to painting and texture. Bathed in light, their beauty emerges in a way that beckons the observer to reach out and touch. Holding them, one appreciates the moderate weight and the simplicity of their shapes, designed for ease of use. These are not just finely crafted items; they are thoughtfully engineered to be long-lasting essentials in everyday life.

The popular Moist Series from Musubi Kiln is, of course, also on display and available for purchase. Details on the intricate manufacturing process of this series will be featured in our next blog post.

Second Floor Showroom

Upon ascending the stairs, to the right, a small room displayed a table setting for Hinamatsuri. Centered around the Moist Series, a serene tablescape combined dishes from the Cuir Series, known for their leather-like texture and sheen, with lacquerware and glass, integrating different textures. It was later learned that this table design was entirely conceived by Hataishi. This space provides a unique insight into the aesthetic nuances of Hataman Touen, a glimpse into the subtle artistry that defines their work.

Further back, in the exhibition room, a selection of products is showcased in glass cases. The display is an overwhelming tribute to first-class craftsmanship, each piece shining with the skill of the artisan.

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A Conversation with Hataishi Shinji

Finally, returning to the ground floor, we were welcomed into a reception space with tables, where we had the opportunity to hear from Hataishi Shinji, the current president. Also thriving as a traditional craftsman, he handles everything from table settings and tree-planting around this gallery/shop to the branding of his company. He is the driving force behind Hataman Touen, steering its three pillars: industry, tradition, and art.

When asked about the future of Imari Nabeshima ware, his eyes lit up as he shared, "Nabeshima ware possesses a level of technical expertise distinct from Arita ware, and I want to preserve and focus on that. Next year marks the 350th anniversary of Nabeshima ware, and looking towards the 400th, I want to explore possibilities for how our children can progress and set up initiatives to ensure this tradition continues."

He also mentioned plans to plant cherry trees throughout the town, transforming it into a haven of Nabeshima ware, blossoming beautifully every year – a sight we, too, wish to witness.

"Please come visit again. You're always welcome to have a cup of coffee," he said, smiling warmly. Charmed by the president's gracious hospitality, we departed the beautiful space of Hataman Touen, our hearts brimming with warmth.

View Hataman Touen Collection