The Asemi Co. Matsushiro-yaki cup is characterised by its beautiful glaze, changing from dark brown to green and white into a rich blue. This effect is accomplished through a special method of the artisan, applying different natural coloured glaze types.
The clay, retrieved from the surrounding mountains is rich in iron which can be seen in the reddish brown color of the material. The natural glazes are made of compositions of different ashes and metals such as copper for the green. The white glaze is made with the ashes of burned straw, which will turn into blue when reacting with the iron of the clay in the right composition.
Matsushiro lies is an area south of Nagano City. It is naturally protected by the Chikuma River in the north and surrounding mountains in the other directions.
The Asemi Co. Matsushiro-yaki cups are made by the artisan Tomoki Miyazaki in Matsushiro, Nagano.
In the 17th century, the Sanada Clan gained control of the area and established the pottery business in Matsushiro in the Edo period. The blooming Matsushiro pottery business took a hit in the Meiji period when new developed transportation networks led to other pottery styles hitting the market. Since the 1930ies Matsushiro-yaki recovered due to more people once again appreciating handmade pottery.