When I was a child, I loved playing in nature as well as making
something by hand. So, I used to go to mountains to catch insects and
go fishing in a river. And I was absorbed in making plastic models.
Having had such a childhood, I worked as a businessman and lived a
quiet, uneventful life.
However, the turning point came to me when I was just 23 years old.
My grandfather who loved me passed away… In general, it is
common to cremate the deceased than bury them in Japan. And we
put the remaining bones in a ceramic jar called Kotsutsubo. After
putting them, Kotsutsubo is buried in a grave. In other words,
Kotsutsubo is an important place as we spend our last time.
However, a person who was an undertaker was about to put bones of
my grandfather in the dull and mass-produced ceramic jar. At that
moment, I had a strong uncomfortable feeling; “Is it the best place for
him as the end of his days?” And then, I wanted my parents to enter in
Kotsutsubo which I make when they pass away.
That gave me the resolve to change my job to day laborer and I decided
to go to Seto city. Because I thought Seto city which is famous
for producing ceramic ware was the best place for me to learn potter.
So, I began to study at ceramic school in Seto right away. It was very
tough time for me. After graduation, I moved to the Mino area and
trained with a focus on Mino-yaki (Mino ceramic ware). In Mino, I
discovered a type of ancient pottery called Atsumi- yaki that was
produced in the region of my hometown, Mikawa. Unlike Mino-yaki
whose production started in 15th century, the production of Atsumi-
yaki started in 12th century. And Atsumi-yaki was used as a roofing
tile of Todai-ji Temple. I was soon attracted to Atsumi-yaki. So, I’ve
been exploring the essence of pottery and Atsumi-yaki.
The themes of my works are “Fusion of the Middle Ages and
Modern times” and “Harmonize with nature”. “ Fusion of the
Middle Ages and Modern times” means an innovative approach using
not only solemnity and excellent technology of Middle Ages, but also a
technology that utilizes both modern beauty and modern usability. And
“Harmonize with nature” means that respecting for nature, making
my works using materials which have low impacts on the
environment and value the handicraft industry. And, I want to
represent the warmth and the harshness of nature. Moreover, I
want everyone to realize the interest of manufacturing and
the wonderfulness of tradition.
The reason for my idea is that in Japan there seems to be a
tendency of ignoring Japanese traditional culture and technology.
Although the abandonment of old ideas and methods contributed
to the postwar economic recovery in Japan, it is still remains that
only something new is good in the mind of many young Japanese.
Especially young Japanese people have a prejudice against Japanese
traditional things as they are old-fashioned. And the less chance of
experiencing the traditional ones makes this worse. Although it is
difficult to break this situation by myself, I want everyone to give a
chance to contact our original culture. So, I should study the goodness
of the past and I am responsible for making the pottery which suits
modern life. And I want everyone to use my works every day.
I feel rejoiced that I can communicate with people throughout the
world. And I want to refine the quality of my works, my skills, and
grow as a person.