Mishima ware

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Hori-Mishima stoneware tea bowl with inlaid slip under glaze, Joseon dynasty, c. 1580-1610. Made to order in south Gyeongsang Province for the Japanese market.

Mishima ware is a slip inlay style of Japanese pottery adopted from Korea, probably in the 16th century.


The name Mishima might have been coined in the 17th century, but the style itself goes back to Goryeo (935-1392) when bowls decorated in this way were known as Korai-jawan or Korai tea bowls. It is also known as gohon,[1] and originated from Buncheong pottery.

Korean Mishima is not to be confused with the same name that is used in the treatise Tōkikō, which describes shimamono from southeast Asia.[1]


In Mishima ware, bowls were inlaid with various motifs such as floral and animal depictions.

To create these motifs, a potter would begin by engraving the design in the body. Next, the engravings would be filled with contrasting colored clay (or slip). Finally, the bowl is then covered it with a transparent glaze.

This technique peaked in Korea during the 12th and 13th-century Goryeo celadons, deemed "first under heaven." It is also referred to as zogan.

Another inlay style is called reverse inlay. With this technique, the potter cuts away the background, leaving the design in relief. Then, with the design established, the background is brushed over with a slip. Finally, the excess is scraped away.

See also[edit]

  • Onta ware, which also uses the slip technique


  1. ^ a b Laufer, Berthold (1976-01-01). Kleinere Schriften: Publikationen aus der Zeit von 1911 bis 1925. 2 v. Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. ISBN 9783515026512. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Mishima ware at Wikimedia Commons