en-★ Toyozo Arakawa ★

15/07/2021
Toyozo Arakawa Edit Profile also known as Muden Dojin
Toyozo Arakawa Edit Profile also known as Muden Dojin

Background

Toyozo Arakawa was born in 1895.

Education

After finishing school at Kyoto Preparatory in 1909 he began studying the art of ceramics from Tozan Miyanaga.

Career

Earlier in life he was especially interested in dyed ceramic ware which he studied in Kyoto but since his discovery of the old kilns of Shino, Setoguro and Kiseto he concentrated on their style and finally succeeeded in turning out ware equal to that turned out during the Momoyama Period. His kiln is now located in Gifu Prefecture.He was given the title "Living National Treasure" in 1955. In 1930 he discovered shards at the site of the ruins of an ogama style kiln at Mutabora proving that that Shino and Oribe glazed work of the Momoyama and early Edo period in Japan had been manufactured in Mino rather than in the Seto area. In 1933 he built a kiln reproducing the original Mutabora kiln and rediscovered the techniques for manufacturing Shino glazes. He died in Tokyo, Japan in 1985. There is a translation of Arakawa's The Traditions and Techniques of Mino Pottery in Janet Barriskill's Visiting the Mino Kilns Wild Peony Press, Sydney. 

Toyozo Arakawa, Suigetsugama Tea bowl depicting plum
Toyozo Arakawa, Suigetsugama Tea bowl depicting plum

Toyozo Arakawa It is meaningless just to inherit the traditions of Japanese pottery, unless you add your own ideas...but if you overdo yourself, you might ruin the traditions. The point is to make the best use of the old methods and ideas. -Toyozo Arakawa, Japan, "Living National Treasure" 


This magnificent Toyozo one of Japan's most celebrated and talented potters.
Arakawa Toyozo (1894 - 1985), designated in 1955 as one of but a handful of National Living Treasures, is best known for rediscovering lost techniques of pottery from the Momoyama and early Edo periods. In 1930 he discovered shards at the site of the ruins of an ogama style kiln at Mutabora proving that that Shino and Oribe glazed work of the Momoyama and early Edo period in Japan had been manufactured in Mino rather than in the Seto area. Several years later he built a kiln to replicate these lost techniques and began producing works.
Arakawa's interest in reviving ancient techniques likely began when, as a young man, he worked at the kiln of Rosanjin (1883 - 1959) in Kamakura. Rosanjin had based his pottery style and techniques on lost traditions from ancient China and Japan. For Arakawa, Shino-ware held a special appeal as it was the only form of white pottery that could truly be said to have originated in Japan. The feldspar glazing, perfect form, excellent firing, exceptional clay flavor, and brilliant fire colors were all characteristics of the lost art of Shino-ware that Arakawa spent a lifetime recreating and perfecting.