NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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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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