Shigaraki, Shiga

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Location of Shigaraki
Tanuki pottery in Shigaraki

Shigaraki (信楽町, Shigaraki-chō) is a town located in Kōka District, Shiga Prefecture, Japan.

As of 2003, the town has an estimated population of 14,035 and a density of 85.40 persons per km². The total area is 164.34 km².

On October 1, 2004, Shigaraki, along with the towns of Kōka, Kōnan, Minakuchi and Tsuchiyama (all from Kōka District), was merged to create the city of Kōka.

It also served as the imperial capital for several months in 745, before moving to Heijō-kyō due to a forest fire destroying the palace (Shigaraki Palace).

Shigaraki is famous for its ceramic kilns 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 produced here.

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