The history of Seto-yaki

The history of Seto-yaki ceramics dates back over 1,000 years. Though kilns in other regions produced unglazed pottery, the Seto kiln became the first to produce pottery with a full glaze, known as ‘Furu-Seto ware’. Blue-and-white glazed porcelain production quickly spread during the Edo Era, with Seto becoming the largest porcelain producer in Japan. Seto porcelain received widespread recognition thanks to displays at international expositions, and Seto’s name became synonymous with ceramics worldwide. Today, as one of Japan’s renowned six ancient kilns, Seto remains the preeminent center of porcelain production, having played a key role in the development of Japanese pottery culture.




Setoyaki and maneki-neko

Toward the end of the Meiji Era in the late 1800s, European plaster mold techniques arrived in Seto, giving rise to ‘Seto Novelty’ (ornamental figurines)

produced exclusively for export. The first of Seto’s ceramic maneki-neko (beckoning cat) figurines were produced using plaster molds toward the end of the 1800s.Maneki-neko figurines produced in Seto have a uniquely realistic and elegant appearance.A raised right paw signifies money, while a left paw entices customers to a business.

Seto’s beckoning cats have gained popularity for their variety of styles and rich blessings.