The Maruhiro Flagship Store in Saga Prefecture recently underwent a dramatic remodeling. When the new doors – or should I say, floors – opened in April 2015, customers were greeted to an elevated base in the middle of the shop which consisted of 25,000 pieces of imperfect ceramic bowls, plates and cups.
The new store is “standing on the shoulders of Japanese Hasami ceramics history,” says designer Yusuke Seki, who oversaw the renovation of Maruhiro. It carries on a local tradition of hasami ceramic tableware production that dates back to the early 17th century.
By combining architectural knowledge and artisanal know-how, Seki created a site-specific installation that amplifies the local tradition. In cooperation with numerous local pottery factories, Seki stacked layers and layers of imperfect tableware, which normally would have been discarded into a site called monohara (物原). But by re-purposing these pieces, Seki created his own monohara within the context of a retail shop, conveying the history, fragility and legacy of Hasami ceramics.