Historical Tobe ware has become more attractive with the change of generations [Journey through utensils vol.2]

This time, we went to Tobe Town, Ehime Prefecture to visit Mr. and Mrs. Mori, who run Mori Tobo, which is known as the "village of Tobe ware."

Tobe ware is a traditional craft of Japan with a history of about 240 years. Through a generational change, in recent years there has been an increase in the number of unique pieces that have retained their traditional charm.

After being shown Mori Tobo's workshop, we took a leisurely drive and enjoyed the colorful flowers along the Haruno Hydrangea Highway.

Let's drive from Kochi City to Tobe Town!

I was out in the rainy season, and on the day I headed to Mori Tobo, I thought it was going to rain.
I was surprised when I woke up in the morning! The weather has turned out to be a perfect day for a drive.

I procured a medium size iced coffee, which is larger than usual, and let's go!

It is approximately 120km from Kochi City to Tobe Town. By car, it will take approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes to arrive.

I wanted to buy some delicious souvenirs along the way, so I decided to enjoy a leisurely drive along National Route 33.

Sweet souvenirs from Ochi Town

I have purchased baked sweets from Baked Sweets G at an event. It takes less than an hour by car from Kochi city.

Since I was passing through the area, I decided to take a short detour to buy some souvenirs for myself.

The location of "Yakigashi G" is a 1-minute walk from Ochi Town Hall. A short walk down an old-fashioned shopping street, you'll find a small, stylish store.

In addition to baked sweets, we sell muffins and cakes depending on the season.

As it has been introduced as a ``town sweets shop'', there are people who come on foot to buy on the same day as the store opens.
It's made with a moderate amount of sweetness, so you can enjoy the sweets without getting bored.

This time I purchased a set of 5 types of cookies. When I got home, I brewed a slightly stronger cup of coffee and had it with me.

It's definitely delicious. Next, I wanted to try the baked cheesecake.

Manpuku lunch at the locally loved restaurant Chitose

From Ochi Town, it took about 1 hour and 40 minutes to enter Tobe Town.
I wanted to eat lunch soon, so I decided to go to "Shokudo Chitose" in Tobe Town.

Not only is the price reasonable considering it's a cafeteria, but it's also a heaping portion size that's great value.

I had the rice changed to small rice, but there were 4 large pieces of fried chicken!

I'm curious about the taste, but the fried chicken has a strong umami flavor, and is even hotter and juicier.
It was very delicious.

The miso soup also has a strong dashi stock that is soothing and soothing.
I was very satisfied and ate it all.

Finally, let's go to Mori Tobo!

Once we were full, we finally went to Mori Tobo. The pottery and atelier are located in a residential area just off the national highway.

Mr. and Mrs. Kotaro Mori and Kaori are the 3rd generation.
Mori Tobo's products are made to be as light as possible while still retaining the cute paintings and the durability of traditional Tobe ware.

For this reason, it is easy to handle and perfect for everyday use.

When you enter the store, you'll see a tasteful display of utensils that are a combination of antique French furniture and fittings, and Japanese furniture that has always been in the house.

It's a very fresh space because it's both nostalgic and new.

Mori Tobo's pottery is not intended for ornamental purposes, but rather for people to use it casually in their daily lives.
Therefore, no matter which pottery you pick up, you will feel a sense of warmth.

This item is unglazed after being dried in the sun.
After the master carefully molds the base material, dries it, and fires it, his wife paints it with beautiful hand-paintings one by one.

Pigments are sometimes rubbed with a mortar and pestle, but if a lot is to be rubbed, a special machine like this is used.
The pigment Gosu, which produces a blue color, stands out on white porcelain and is characterized by its adhesion to the base material.

Mori Tobo uses a variety of other pigments in addition to Gosu, but all of them are originally mixed and used for painting, making their individuality stand out.

Painting work is a very delicate work.
Small dust can also cause pinholes, and the pigment may not come down properly from the brush, so you need to be careful.

Also, it is said that you cannot use hand creams as they contain oil and will repel the pigments.
The season when you are concerned about rough hands is difficult.

Mori Tobo's particularly popular pottery is the KAORI series of delicately painted ballerinas and kokeshi dolls.

We make small items such as chopstick rests, as well as large containers such as hand washing basins, to order.

Each piece is hand-painted and has a slightly different expression, so it would be nice to collect them as a series.

Also, it is extremely difficult to paint on a curved surface rather than a flat surface.
Detailed painting is a delicate work that requires concentration.

I was able to actually see them drawing the bones of a ballerina!


The wife of a veteran painter who holds a first-class technician qualification and has been painting for 25 years.

My wife said, ``I write every day, but I get nervous when I'm being filmed.'' As expected from a veteran, she generously painted a cute ballerina even while filming a video. He showed it off.

This is the pottery after painting and glazing.

Waiting for the final firing, main firing.
It is baked at approximately 1250℃ for 20 hours. 

Mori Tobo has three kilns installed in its kiln factory.

Each kiln has a different role, and one of them is this gas kiln.
It is said that butane gas, which has strong thermal power, is used.

In the winter, it's warm when you fire up the kiln, but in the summer, it gets close to 40 degrees Celsius, so it's a test of physical strength! He told me with a smile.

Also, Mori Tobo's utensils are made to be used in all kinds of Japanese and Western settings.
A simple and easy-to-use form with cute paintings. Everyone from small children to adults can enjoy it.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, people are spending more time at home.

Mori Tobo's utensils are filled with the hope that people can enjoy their lives as much as possible with their utensils.

A walk while watching the Haruno Hydrangea Festival

After enjoying Mori Tobo's pottery, we headed to the hydrangea road in Haruno-cho, Kochi City.
You can enjoy the 10,000 hydrangeas blooming along the approximately 5km waterway.

Unfortunately, the event was canceled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the hydrangeas were blooming beautifully.

When I was taking a walk in the evening, it started to rain. Personally, I don't like rain very much, but the combination of hydrangeas and rain has a nice atmosphere.

After enjoying the hydrangeas, we got into the car and reached the final stage of our 240km round trip.
To get home, I ran straight through Hanakaido, a road in Kochi City along the Pacific Ocean.

I was able to reaffirm the appeal of the new Tobe ware, which has been made by Mori Tobo, and has undergone a generational change while retaining its old-fashioned charm.

You can view Mori Tobo's utensils introduced this time here.

Mori Tobo List Page

May you enjoy your daily meals with your favorite utensils.