Sunday, November 24, 2013

For the Love of Mingei

Mingei or folk pottery is sprinkled throughout the country side all over Japan. Mashiko, made famous by the likes of Yanagi Soetsu, Hamada Shoji and Kawai Kanjiro, is probably the most well known outside of Japan. There are so many other beautiful folk potteries that can be appreciated by daily use. The heart of Mingei lies in simple, everyday pottery, made by local craftsmen. There may not be a mark on the pottery because, at least in the past, in "Mingei" it was felt that the work should be enough to identify the craftsman. Using the generic mark is also used to show solidarity as a group of folk artists of a particular style. The storage boxes should have the name and mark if not on the individual piece. Check out my book review page. I list several good books on Mingei or the Folk Pottery Movement.

1931 Soetsu Yanagi quote, catalog of Hamada exhibition:
" .... beauty can never be attained by sophistications of technique, for beauty is a thing of soundness and truth."

Tatsuzo Shimaoka-Mashiko Yaki

Onta Yaki

Koishiwara Yaki, Fukuoka Prefecture

Mashiko Yaki Tea bowl by Hasegawa

Tsuboya Yaki
      Sake flask from Okinawa 

    Shodai yaki of Kumamoto Prefecture by Inoue Taishu

Tenryo Gama of Oita Prefecture. Known for its reddish and purple glazes.

Koda Pottery, the lesser known of the Kumamoto kilns. This kind of pottery was really my introduction to Japanese pottery so it remains one of my fondest. 

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