Suebe (陶部)

Suebe (or Suetsukuribe) was a group of people who were engaged in manufacturing Sueki (unglazed ware) before Taika period.

Sueki and its producing technique are said to have been introduced from the Southern area of the Korean Peninsula in the Kofun period, and Suebe is considered to have been formed to manufacture Sueki on a large scale in Suemura, Chinu Province and other places (present-day near Naka Ward and Minami Ward, Sakai City, Osaka Prefecture) in the beginning of the 5th century. In the article of 27 B.C. in "Nihonshoki" (Chronicles of Japan), it says that in Kagami Village, Omi Province, there was a craftsman of Suebe who served the prince of Silla, Amenohiboko, who came to Japan. In the article of 463, it says that craftsmen including SUETSUKURI-no-Koki were presented as tributes from Baekje. This could not be soon regarded as a fact, but may be considered as a reflection of the fact that many of the Suebe craftsmen came from Silla and Baekje.

However, it is unknown which official supervised Suebe and there is no record that shows Suebe became Tomobe (administrative officials), Shinabe and Zakko (groups of technicians), who belonged to a specific government official, under the Ritsuryo system (especially, Yoro Ritsuryo Code). So, Suebe was dissolved and its members were absorbed in a private group of craftsmen in the eighth century at the latest, and the Imperial Court was considered to have been given earth wares including Sueki from private sectors through tributes or exchanges with the rice tax.