[en] The effects of oxygen partial pressure during thermal treatment on the color and microstructure of Bizen, a traditional Japanese stoneware, were studied through model experiments using clay pellets covered lightly with rice straw as a coloring assistant. When heated in flowing nitrogen, the model pellet turned blackish owing to the formation of alpha-Fe particles coated with graphite. However, schreibersite (Fe3P), which is also blackish, was formed specifically on the pellet surface in direct contact with the straw. The rice straw seems to have generated a strongly reducing atmosphere, strong enough for the metallization to alpha-Fe, and also to have provided phosphorus through contact. When oxygen content in the surrounding gas atmosphere was raised to N-2/O-2=99/1, the pellet surface turned yellowish brown because the main coloring material was Fe3+-containing mullite. At oxygen contents of N-2/O-2=98/2 or more, the formation of hematite (alpha-Fe2O3) pushed the color to deep red.