Friday, March 3, 2017


Illustrated is a classic Arakawa-mon (school) chawan by long time apprentice, Nakayama Naoki who served a long apprenticeship prior to setting up his own studio/kiln in Ogaya Village. Well known for his freehand and simple decoration of his chawan using the Chinese bellflower design, Nakayama's chawan bear a striking resemblance to that of his master, Arakawa Toyozo but upon close examination there are subtle differences, nuances that are apparent not because he wasn't capable of copying the master but rather out of respect he searched out his own vocabulary within the form. Many of the chawan that I have seen by Nakayama have a warm and rather inviting quality to them, a sense of purpose contained within the simple and well exectued form. His chawan usually show a rather regular lip with slight undulation and the hera cut area that form the transition from the body of the bowl to the kodai area, is cut quickly and with skilled repetition creating a subtlety rounded form with a soft area that sits well in the hand. Nakayama Naoki has skillfully created the balance of blending the old with the new and using his master's works as a foundation to create his own voice that speaks to modern Mino-yaki.