Bizen is the oldest style of pottery made in Japan. It originated in the village of Imbe in the old province of Bizen and to this day, is home to one of only six remaining kilns of medieval Japan.
The hard, reddish brown colour of Bizen ware make it very distinguishable along with its distinct lack of glaze. The markings on the pottery are achieved through wood-burning kilns that are kept burning for between 8 and 20 days. The kilns at Bizen are only lit once or twice a year, making the production of the pottery of particular importance. A variety of effects can be created by wrapping rice straws around the pots or submerging them in the pine ashes.
What is so unusual about Bizen pottery is the fact that the more it is handled, the more the colour and texture of the ware improves - the more the items are used, the more beautiful they become. Here is a video showing how a master Japanese potter shapes the clay: