NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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2007/1/30


伊勢崎淳(人間国宝) Isezaki Jun Jun Isezaki (Living National Treasure)

Jp En

Jun Isezaki was born on 20 February, 1936. In 2004, he was designated as a Living National Treasure for his work as a Bizen ware craftsman.

Jun Isezaki was the second son of Yo Isezaki, who was a fine and detailed potter himself. Jun Isezaki studied pottery from a young age and in 1960, together with his brother Mitsuru, he set about the restoration of a medieval basement kiln that was part of an old kiln on Mt Koya: this was the first Bizen basement kiln.

True to his words 'I want to find my own way, not imitate others', he has continually presented many unique works using his creativity to rework traditional styles. His various ceramic ware ranges from flower vases, dishes and teapots to artistic objets. He believes that 'making new works leads to a tradition'. He is a leading Bizen ware craftsman with an exceptionally creative and wide output.
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2007/1/29


鉄釉陶器 Tetsuyuu-touki Tetsuyu Pottery

Jp En

Tetsuyu pottery has been made since the Momoyama period in the Mino area of Gifu Prefecture. The feature of this pottery is the markings on the iron glaze. This is done when the pieces are fired red and just removed from the kiln. Water is applied to rapidly cool them.

When the amount of iron is about 1%, the glaze is a thin yellow; when the amount is about 10%, it has the colour of coffee; and when it is about 5%, it is yellowish-brown.

In 1994, Osamu Suzuki (born 1934) was designated as a Living National Treasure for his work with tetsuyu pottery and his development of his 'shino' technique.
Suzuki graduated from the pottery department of Tajimi Industrial High School. He practised his skill under the gaze of his philatelist father. In 1968 he became independent and has worked continuously since then.
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常滑焼 九谷紋様急須 梅原昭龍作 Tokoname-yaki Kutanimonyou-kyusu Umehara-Akitatsu-Saku Tokomae Ware, Kutani-Patterned Teapot

Jp En

This teapot was made by Akitatsu Umehara.

Some tea on a holiday afternoon. Some tea after a meal. A relaxed moment for tea is exceptionally comfortable.

Why don’t you care about the teapot and not just the tealeaves or how to pour the tea?

Professional craftsmanship. This teapot is very practical and worth using: the tea pours smoothly, the lid holds in the tea's flavor, and the body is decorated with calm Kutani patterns.

The longer you use this teapot, the more practical it will become and the more satisfaction it will give.

Appreciating a traditional craft with tea is lots of fun.
Magic Garden
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2007/1/15


鉄瓶 Tetsubin Iron Kettles

Jp En

Iron kettle-making is one of Japan's major traditional handicrafts. To make an iron kettle, metal is melted at a temperature of over 1500℃ and poured into molds in a technique known as 'fuki', which takes many years to learn.

This traditional technique has been passed down over the ages, and products are still being made by hand. The 'nanbu iron kettle', made in Morioka, Iwate prefecture, is famous in Japan.

In fact, recently there has been a small boom in iron kettles. Mankind today is said to be deficient in iron. It is said that one in five people suffers from anemia or semi-anemia. Water boiled in iron kettles carries enough iron to effectively replace any deficiency in iron. Connoisseurs can tell the difference between tea or coffee made with or without water boiled in an iron kettle. The taste of hot water boiled in an iron kettle is highly valued even abroad.
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2007/1/12


江崎軍治 Gunji Ezaki Gunji Ezaki

Jp En

Ezaki Guji is an Edo lacquerware craftsman, and was born in 1913 in Akita prefecture.

Ezaki's father was a Kawatsura lacquerware craftsman. After graduation, Ezaki studied the craft of lacquerware from his father. In 1931, at the age of 18, he moved to Tokyo to study under a lacquering craftsman in Asakusa.

Edo lacquerware developed as a craft during the period of the fifth Tokugawa shogun Tsunayoshi (1646–1709), and was being used by commoners as everyday objects by the period of the eighth shogun Yoshimune (1684-1751).

Many different kinds of Edo lacquerware vessels and utensils are produced, including objects for the tea ceremony and for low tables.

Ezaki set up his own business in Katsushika-ku, Tokyo, in 1946. Until 1950, he lacquered and assembled sacred portable shrines for Tokyo's Asakusa district. Now, he is mainly engaged in lacquering drums, lion-dance masks and portable shrines.

Ezaki says: 'The basic preparation in lacquering is vital. The surface might look similar at first, but the longer you use it, the more tasteful the best ware gets.'

In 1995, he was designated as a Tokyo Traditional Craftsman of Katsushika-ku.
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