Mashiko Chawan by Hamada Shoji
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Directory: Archives: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Pre 1980: Item # 1199172
Kawakami 2891-4 Yufuin-cho
Yufu-shi, Oita-ken 879-5102 Japan
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This exceptional chawan (tea bowl) was made by Hamada Shoji (1894-1978), who is without doubt the best known Japanese potter. His influence on the world of ceramics, not only in Japan but throughout the world makes him a true icon of contemporary pottery. During his lifetime, he received many awards, the most prestigious of them being the title of Important Intangible Cultural Property (Living National Treasure) of Japan.
Hamada Shoji befriended Kawai Kanjiro when they were studying ceramics in Tokyo. And he met Bernard Leach there, in 1919. He traveled with him to England and helped him build a kiln at St Ives. Hamada, Leach, Kawai, and the philosopher Yanagi Soetsu were behind the Mingei (folk art) movement that was created in 1926 as a counterbalance to the industrialization of ceramics and the “snobbishness” of the world of tea ceremony ware. This movement was a major influence on many potters and still is. Hamada Shoji traveled extensively to many countries to study, teach, lecture on ceramics and exhibit potteries and contributed also to a greater appreciation of ceramics in the world.
This particular bowl presents the qualities of Mashiko ware in its simpliciy and the aura of classic Raku ware in its subtlety of tones and shape.
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The chawan is in good condition, but it has two hairlines running from opposite places on the mouth and joining at the bottom of the bowl in a swirl. Also, there is small spot left bare, inside the bowl (kiln flaw)(see picture 8).
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