Imado wares

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  • Japanese: 今戸焼 (Imado yaki)

Imado-yaki is a type of earthenware ceramics which was extremely popular and widespread in the Edo period.

Produced since the beginning of the Edo period at Imado, in the Asakusa neighborhood of northeast Edo, this form of ceramics first came to be known as "Imado-yaki" in the late 18th century. The neighborhood was particularly famous for its production of ceramic roof tiles, and the smoke from the kilns, rising up in the distance, was a part of the famous sights of meisho images of Sensô-ji, just a short distance away.

Timon Screech has argued that the flames and smoke of Imado played a symbolic or metaphorical role, in representing "hell," as part of a metaphorical journey up the Sumidagawa, past Imado, to the "paradise" of the Yoshiwara.

Following the 1923 Great Kantô Earthquake, the vast majority of potters relocated out of the Imado area. Only one family continues to produce Imado wares there, specializing in figures of lucky cats and foxes.


  • Plaques at Imado Shrine, Asakusa, Tokyo.[1]