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A fantastic circular box by one of Japans most sought ceramic artists Kanjiro Kawai (1890-1966) enclosed in a box endorsed by his successor Kawai Takeichi. Stripes of black like the flying white streaks of a zen painting rip through the white glaze. It measures 5-1/4 inches (13.5 cm) diameter, by 5-1/2 inches (14 cm) tall and is in excellent condition. The box reads
Shiro-yu Kokusu Bonshi
Kanjiro was a true artist by nature, and together with Hamada Shoji, set a pattern of study for modern potters. After graduating the Tokyo School of Industrial Design, he came to study in Kyoto, eventually establishing his own kiln on the Gojo-no-Saka (It remains standing today and is a must see for anyone visiting Kyoto). Together with compatriots Hamada Shoji and Bernard Leach (with whom he traveled throughout Asia) established the modern Mingei movement in ceramics, the most influential ceramics movement in the 20th century. His research on glazes (of which he developed thousands over a lifetime of work) remains influential as well. Refusing to be limited to ceramics, Kanjiro also worked in bronze, wood and paint. An interesting final note on this unusual artist, when offered the title of Living National Treasure, an honor bestowed on very few, he declined.