Arita ware firms aim to conquer chess market and Olympics
By KENRO KURODA/ Staff Writer
October 6, 2017 at 07:10 JST
ARITA, Saga Prefecture--Traditional Arita ware porcelain has entered its fifth century by setting foot in the huge chess market.
Takashi Haraguchi, president of pottery sales company Toraku, and others developed chess pieces made of porcelain and began selling them by subscription, targeting the estimated 700 million people who play the board game across the world.
Haraguchi, 66, noted that the momentum is growing toward adding chess to Olympics events in the future.
“We want our chess pieces to be used in the Games,” he said. “I hope to promote Arita ware through chess across the world.”
Producers of Arita ceramics, which marked the 400th anniversary of their creation last year, have been working aggressively to expand their sales networks overseas.
The special chess pieces not only boast colorful and distinctive designs but they are also made from what is billed as “the world’s strongest” ceramic material.
Each set will be priced at 200,000 to 500,000 yen ($1,794 to $4,485).