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  • Japanese: 苗代川 (Naeshirogawa)

Naeshirogawa is a village in Higashi-ichirai, Hioki district, Kagoshima prefecture, which in the Edo period was home to a community of potters descended from some 70[1] Korean ceramics experts forcibly taken from Korea to Japan during Toyotomi Hideyoshi's invasions of Korea in the 1590s. While these potters and others are typically said to have been "kidnapped," "taken prisoner," "taken as slaves," or by other such phrases, more recent research as well as the narratives put forth by the Chinjukan Museum (the chief museum of this history, run by one of those potter families) itself use much more neutral phrases such as torai ("crossed over to [Japan]") and tomonatte kita ("accompanied [the Shimazu] and came [to Japan]").[2]

The community soon established their own shrine, called Tamayama Shrine, where Korean-style worship and rituals could take place.[3]

The village still retained this special character as late as the 1780s, when Tachibana Nankei visited and discussed the village in his diaries.


  • Kurushima Hiroshi, et al., Satsuma Chôsen tôkô mura no yonhyaku nen, Iwanami Shoten (2014), v.
  • Herbert Plutschow, A Reader in Edo Period Travel. Global Oriental, 2006. pp75-88.
  1. Ono Masako, Tomita Chinatsu, Kanna Keiko, Taguchi Megumi, "Shiryô shôkai Kishi Akimasa bunko Satsuyû kikô," Shiryôhenshûshitsu kiyô 31 (2006), 227.
  2. Gallery labels, Chinjukan Museum, Miyama (Naeshirogawa), Kagoshima pref.; Rebekah Clements, "Captured Korean Potters and Alternate Attendance in Japan’s Satsuma Domain, 17th -18th Centuries," Aftermath of the East Asian War of 1592-1598 webinar, 13 Oct 2021. At the Yonhyakunen gama 400年窯, another kiln within the village, explanatory plaques use the phrase tsure kaerimashita, indicating that the Shimazu "brought [the potters] along with them when they returned." Explanatory plaques on-site, 400-nen gama kiln, Miyama.
  3. Gallery labels, Shôkoshûseikan, Kagoshima.