Monday, July 11, 2011


When I think about the giants of Japanese pottery of the 20th century, there are a number of potters who spring to mind, however the ones who always top my list are Shoji Hamada, Kawai Kanjiro, Okabe Mineo, Kato Tokuro and certainly not the least of which is Arakawa Toyozo. I was lucky enough to see my first Arakawa chawan back in 1982 and over the years have seen and handled a number of his works. Despite the seeming simplicity of his pottery, there is a combination of timelessness, elegance, brilliance and power all infused into his works. His mastery of Seto-Guro, Shino and Ki-Seto is made all the more remarkable as he pioneered the clay, glazes and firings that had almost entirely disappeared from Japan. It is thorough his remarkable artistic and creative genius that these arts have made such a dramatic comeback.

For my 200th post, I am putting up a very short but sweet video exerpt from an older National Geographic special that I first saw on PBS Television, it was entitled; LIVING TREASURES OF JAPAN. At the time I saw it, I had recently met with Ningen Kokuho swordsmith, Gassan Sadaichi (Sadakazu) so the segments on him and Arakawa Toyozo were of extreme interest. As I mentioned, this is short, but I hope it is as fascinating to you as it has been to me for all these years.

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