Matsushiro lies is an area south of Nagano City. It is naturally protected by the Chikuma River in the north and surrounding mountains in the other directions.
In the 17th century, the Sanada Clan gained control of the area and established the pottery business in Matsushiro in the Edo period. The blooming Matsushiro pottery business took a hit in the Meiji period when new developed transportation networks led to other pottery styles hitting the market. Since the 1930ies Matsushiro-yaki recovered due to more people once again appreciating handmade pottery. But today, there are only three active kilns in Matsushiro left. Since all three artisans are struggling to young successors, the future of Matsushiro-yaki is uncertain.