Stacking Hasami Ceramics

March 31, 2016 2016年3月31日

25,000 pieces of Japanese crockery – consisting of bowls, plates, and cups, all stacked neatly on top of another, layer upon layer. This was how this magnificent elevated floor, built solely from ceramics, was created. Wooden tables sit on top, with a selection of ceramic tableware available for purchase neatly arranged on them. A small set of brick steps leads visitors up onto the platform, where they are able to walk freely on this stunning installation. High heels, however, are not recommended. This display of engineering ingenuity can be found at the flagship store of the renowned Japanese ceramics company Maruhiro.


Maruhiro is located in Hasami, Japan, at the junction between Nagasaki and Saga prefectures. This area has a 400 year history with manufacturing ceramics, and is well known for its pottery and porcelain. Hasami is considered to be a central hub for quality Japanese porcelain – the rural but famed town has, in fact, become synonymous with Japanese ceramics. In April of last year, Maruhiro unveiled the complete overhaul and redesign of their flagship store. Through a contemporary reinterpretation of traditional ceramics design, the store has become one of the most unique and must-see destinations in the area.


Japanese designer Yusuke Seki is the mastermind behind the store’s redesign. He was inspired to pursue a career as a professional designer after the Great Hanshin earthquake, when his hometown had to be rebuilt after the disaster. His creative approach is to reinterpret and rethink the essential aspects of a particular design, embracing simplicity and minimalism above all else. Yusuke’s inspiration often comes from things which already exist, such as material, location, and history. The function is, of course, essential in the conceptualization of his designs, but he also takes the surrounding environment and space into careful consideration. He likes to include the traditional tried-and-true design techniques from the past, and bring it together with completely modern elements.


For this project, Yusuke decided on using tableware deemed to be flawed and unusable after the initial bisque-firing. He managed to acquire these unwanted objects, which are also known as shinikiji, from some local production facilities in bulk amounts, and after collecting enough of it, Yusuke began filling them up with cement to transform them into the building blocks to be used for the elevated platform. Through his creativity, he managed to give these discarded elements a second life, and showcase their inherent beauty in a new way. The end result is a gorgeous piece of installation art that compliments the store space and reflects the brand’s ethos perfectly. Yusuke Seki’s design marries architectural knowledge with the artisanal expertise of the Hasami region, and in so doing, created a unique location and situation-specific experience. The next time you are in Japan, be sure to give the Maruhiro store a visit!


775-7 Toyaotsu, Arita,
Nishimatsu-ura, Saga 844-0014

10:00am ~ 5:00 pm
Closed Wednesdays & Every 3rd Saturday and Sunday



定休日: 毎週水曜,第3土・日曜


Contributor: Banny Wang
Photographer: Takumi Ota
Images Courtesy of Yusuke Seki

寄稿者: Banny Wang
カメラマン: Takumi Ota

Images Courtesy of Yusuke Seki