NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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鉄釉陶器 Tetsuyuu-touki Tetsuyu Pottery

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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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鈴木 藏 (人間国宝) Suzuki Osamu Osamu Suzuki

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Osamu Suzuki, the famous ceramicist, was born in 1934 in Dachi, Toki City, Gifu prefecture. In 1953, he graduated from the Ceramics Department of Tajimi Industry High-school, and started working at a laboratory of Maruko-toen studying glazes and clays, in order to support his father, Michio. He made efforts to accumulate technological information even though traditional learning emphasized pottery making.

In 1959, he exhibited his first Shino-ware round dish form, a set of five dishes, at the 8th Modern Japanese Ceramic Exhibition and the 6th Japan Traditional Handicraft Exhibition. He won a prize at both exhibitions. After that, he received many awards and in 1982 he won the 19th Gold Prize from the Japan Ceramic Society.

Though wood-fired kilns were traditionally used in his local district, he has consistently made Shino ware using gas-fired kilns and has been highly-valued because of his great works, establishing himself as a leading proponent of modern Shino ware.

In 1987, he won the highest prize of all from the Ministry of Education. In 1994, he was designated as an Important Intangible Cultural Asset Holder (Living National Treasure).

Shino is the first example of full-dressed glazed ceramics in Japan. Its thick glaze is white, soft and pitted like an orange. Shino has a very unique image.
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