About Donabe and Iga-yaki Pottery
"Wabi-sabi aesthetic acknowledges and appreciates the natural imperfections inherent in our universe. It serves as proof that each piece has its own character, its own story, and its own place in the world. Just as no two people are the same - no two donabe, cups, plates, or bowls will be identical."
The Art Of Imperfection - Iga-yaki ceramics are truly one-of-a kind works of art. The pottery is one of Japan’s most highly-regarded traditional ceramics. The Iga region, where the clay is sourced, was once the bed of Lake Biwa about 4 million years ago. Nagatani-en, the family owned producer where we source our beautiful ceramics, has been making authentic Iga-yaki pottery since 1832. Each piece is hand-crafted by skilled craftsmen and as a result, the shape, color, and patterns are slightly different from one another. These nuances are what we love most because it's what sets our products apart from those made by a machine. This is the beauty of Iga-yaki's wabi sabi and it has been appreciated by Japanese people for centuries. Each piece produced by Nagatani-en goes through multiple strict quality checks at the property before it is released to the market, so that quality is assured. Once the products arrive in our shop from Iga, Japan, we inspect each piece at our Los Angeles store before we put it on our shelves to sell. We take immense pride to passionately deliver the highest caliber of Japanese products and goods to our customers. As such, we would like you, our customers, to hold the same appreciation for these products and invest in taking care of them. We hope you enjoy not only the products, but the attention to detail, and love in each one of our items.
What is donabe?
Donabe (doh-NAH-bay) is Japanese traditional earth cookware. The Kanji characters that make up the word mean, "clay pot": do is "clay" or "earth", and nabe is "pot". Donabe ware is versatile, and you can use it for a hot pot, soup, or stew; for steaming fish or vegetables, making rice, or even grilling! Donabe cookware shouldn't be reserved for special occasions; it's designed for everyday cooking.
One time, one meeting. This is the Japanese philosophy of ichigo-ichie. We approach each interaction with true sincerity and treasure it as if it were the last. As a pottery producer, Nagatani-en makes donabe with special attention to the uniqueness that’s inherent in each and every piece because this phenomena can only occur once-in-a-lifetime. These rare experiences can never be replicated and that’s the beauty of it.