NHK WORLD-JAPAN “Through the Kitchen Window” featured Michiho Fukumori of Dorakugama.
Michiho Fukumori is the 8th generation owner of Dorakugama. She is a clay potter and chef from Iga, Japan.
Unique and elegant in its utility and form, Dorokugama pottery conveys its connection to the land where it is produced, and to the lineage of the Fukumori family.
The Fukumori family’s kiln and home is deep in the mountains of the Iga Valley, in the town of Marubashira. This family of potters has been passing down their traditional art for eight generations. The Dorokugama company is currently headed by Michiho Fukumori.
The Dorokugama kiln has been in operation since the Edo period (1603-1868) and specializes in the production of Donabe pots. The clay is found in the valley in which these pots are produced, near the southernmost part of Lake Biwa. It is known for its high resistance to heat. This property of the clay makes the pottery uniquely suited for repeat firing, both in order to create the piece in the kiln over three days, as well as once finished, to be used functionally at home as a cooking vessel.
Once the clay is sourced, each piece begins using a form of clay wedging called “Kiku-momi” or Chrysanthemum kneading. Every piece is hand-thrown on the wheel, air-dried, glazed and fired.
With knowledge passed down through the generations and the mastery of this art, the Fukumori family preserves this time honored tradition.
Since 2017 we have been working with Michiho and her father, Masatake Fukumori. They have been sharing their family tradition of -Donabe- making and cooking with us through Cultural Exchange. We are pleased to now be their official representative for North America.
Michiho is not only a trained chef, she lived as a student of Zen at Daitokuji Temple. There she learned the art of Shoujin Ryori and Tea Ceremony Kaiseki. While in California, she demonstrated how to throw, trim and finish a Donabe clay pot in our two-day workshop at Sonoma Community Center. She was also a guest chef at Rintaro and Stonemill Matcha in San Francisco.
Please visit our store page to purchase Donabe.