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An animated work by one of Japans most interesting 20th century ceramic artists Kawai Kanjiro enclosed in a fine kiri-wood box endorsed by the Kawai Kanjiro Museum. The heavy piece dates from later in this artists distinguished career. It is in a style known as Doro-e, or slip design, and the design is actually raised quite off the surface. All is covered in a gosu cobalt glaze. The plaque is 8 by 11-1/4 by 2 inches (20 x 28.5 x 5 cm) and in perfect condition. Dish plaques like this are very rare and highly sought after both within and outside of Japan. Kanjiro produced most of those extant within the last ten years of his life, when he was increasingly moved from functional pottery to sculptural forms. 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.