When fired in a kiln, iron glaze on the rim of a bowl or plate turns blackish brown. The color was reminiscent of whale skin, and it became known as “kawakujira” (皮/kawa = skin; 鯨/kujira = whale). It is also said that the black coloar of the rim symbolizes a whale’s skin (or its back) and the color of the bowl symbolizes a whale’s body (or its belly). It started in Karatsu, and spread elsewhere.
It may also be simply referred to as “fuchiguro” (black rim).
Originally posted May 25, 2015