Sōma ware

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Sōma-yaki (相馬焼?) or Ōbori Sōma-yaki (大堀相馬焼?) is a form of pottery. It is characterized by its green color and blue cracks on the surface. Much of it is multi-layered. Many pieces have a stylized horse painted in metallic gold.

The Sōma-yaki pottery industry was started about 300 years ago in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. In 1978, it was designated as one of the national objects of traditional craftsmanship.

Because ma in sōma means "horse", calligraphic horses are painted on many pieces.

A very rare character of Sōma-yaki pottery is its multi-layered structure.

The dual layering of the pottery insulates the hot liquids to keep them hot and keeps the outside cool, so one doesn't burn one's hands.

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in March 2011 severely affected this industry, as the village, located only 10 km away from the nuclear powerplants, was heavily polluted by radioactive matters and all craftsmen had to leave their workshops. A new workshop opened at Nihonmatsu, Fukushima.

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