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Alternating stripes of underglaze cobalt and applied gold decorate this small porcelain box made to hold incense by Ono Hakuko enclosed in the original signed wooden box. It is 2 inches square (5 cm) and in excellent condition.
From Aichi prefecture, Hakuko was trained by her father initially in the ceramic arts. However she was most strongly influenced by the great experimentive artist Kato Hajime (1901-1968) and his work with gold. This affected her own style deeply, and it can be said that she carried on his research. She was awarded the JCS award in 1980, one of Japanâ€™s most prestigious ceramics awards. In 1992 she was named an important cultural asset (Juyo mukei bunkazai) of Saga prefecture. Bucking the traditional image here is another of Japanâ€™s great cultural assets who fought against a system of prejudice to rise to the top and it is an honor to be able to offer something by her. For more on this important modern artist see Touch Fire, contemporary Japanese Ceramics by Women Artists (2009).