The location served as Imperial capital for a few months in 745, before the transfer to Heijō-kyō due to a forest fire destroying the palace (Shigaraki Palace).
Shigaraki has been famous for pottery making since ancient times. The area is known for its clay beds, and locally mined clay is often used by local potters. Works produced here are known as Shigaraki-yaki. Many local potters use wood fired anagama kilns. Many tanuki statues are also made here.