Famous Potters of Bizen pottery

There are many potters in Bizen city. I introduce you four famous potters such as Toyo Kaneshige, Kei Fujiwara, Toshu Yamamoto, and Yu Fujiwara. Lets see their backgrounds, techniques of Bizen pottery, and so on.

Toyo Kaneshige(1896~1967)-a living national treasure-

His family has been potters from father to son. He devoted himself to the reconstruction of Ko-bizen(=This was Bizen pottery which was made around the Momoyama period.)in the Momoyama period. To reconstruct this, he studied various kinds of kaolin, the structure of kiln, the way of Kamazume(=Workmen of Bizen pottery put potteries into the kiln), and the firing of Bizen pottery. He was called "a restorer of Bizen pottery."

Kei Fujiwara(1899~1983)-a living national treasure-

He was born in a farmhouse. He devoted himself to literature when he was young. However he broke down when he was thirty eight. He changed his job many times. Also he had the Great Kanto Earthquake. After that, he changed his course, and began making Bizen pottery. Compared to Toyo Kaneshige, he devoted himself to Ko-bizen in the Kamakura and the Muromachi periods. He emphasized "simplicity" and "powerfulness" in his works.

Toshu Yamamoto(1906~1994)-a living national treasure-

He was born in a farmhouse. He became a workman at a pottery when he was fifteen. He devoted himself to the technique of potters wheel. He was called "an expert of potters wheel." In his works he emphasized "sharpness." While he devoted himself to the technique of potters wheel, he also was interested in the tea ceremony. Many of his works were Cha-ire(=This is a bottle which keeps Japanese green tea.). The reason why he liked Cha-ire so much, probably he thought, was that Cha-ire was best among tea-things.

Yu Fujiwara(1932 ~ )-a living national treasure-

His father was Kei Fujiwara. After he was graduated from college, he became an assistant for his father. He consistently has used soil(=kaolin)which is digged out in Bizen area and a potters wheel. When he makes works he emphasizes "simplicity," "lucidity," and "manly and open-hearted." In his works pots are especially popular. There are many fans who love them.