As the city of Naha increased in population and became unable to support an active pottery district due to the constant smoke generated by the kilns, the island’s ceramic production base was moved from Tsuboya to Yomitan Village towards the end of the 1970s. The late Jiro Kinjo, a master ceramic artist who was designated a living national treasure in 1985, was one of the first to make the move, followed by many ceramicists including the artists who established the Yuntanza Gama pottery group. In 1980 Yuntanza Gama potters Jissei Omine, Shinman Yamada, Terumasa Tamamoto and Meiko Kinjo built the Yuntanza Noborigama (step kiln), which was repaired in 2016 and is still used today by the four artists.
Built on a slope, the kiln consists of several chambers. Flames from the bottom of the kiln rise into the chambers, allowing a large number of ceramic pieces to be fired simultaneously. When operating the kiln, the four artists take turns watching the firing process, which continues for 80 hours