WARAKU KAWASAKI

The famous potter, the 7th Kawasaki Waraku (1936 -) Motoo Kawasaki is today the eight generation, so every work of kawasaki - San is made 30-50 years ago already. Always been considered a contemporary potter his  generation passed around 2000 to Motoo. Kawasaki A dragon is molded on the body. The term of "Raku" was derived from the site where clay was dug in Kyoto in the late 16th century and is found in Kanji character meaning "enjoyment" or "ease." For 15 generations it has been the title and seal used by a lineage of potters whose work formed the central tradition in Japan. This lineage believes that 'Raku' refers to the potters who use the technique, not the technique itself. In 16th century, the first of these potters, Chojiro is said to have come under the patronage of the Japanese tea master , Sen-No-Rikyu. According to legend, in 1598, the ruler, Hideyoshi Toyotomi, after Chojiro's death in 1592, bestowed upon his adopted son, Jokei, a golden seal with the written symbol "raku." Both the name and the ceramic style have been passed down through the family to the present. Raku ware marked an important point in the historical development of Japanese ceramics, as it is the first ware to use a seal mark and the first to focus on close collaboration between potter and patron.

Raku studio "Waraku" started around 1830 in Kyoto Japan and now Motoo Kawasaki is the 8th generation of Waraku. 

Chojiro Style Tanaka Chōjirō (長次郎) (1516-?1592) is distinguished as the first generation in the Raku ... was allowed to append the term raku to his name in recognition of his talents. This marked the beginning of the use of the style in Japanese pottery

Waraku Kawasaki VII (now Kizou, b.1936) is a Kyoto potter and the seventh generation master of the Waraku kiln lineage. The Waraku family kiln has been producing beautiful Raku pieces since the latter part of the Edo period, and their tea wares are reputed to be some of the best on the market. Waraku bowls are unique because they are wheel-thrown as opposed to hand-built. Their organic appearance comes from the process of cutting and pinching. The kiln is now in its eighth generation and headed by Waraku Kawasaki VIII (Motoo). Raku ware refers to low-fired ceramic ware first made in Kyoto by the Raku Family, its origins going as far back as the 16th century. It is traditionally characterised by being hand shaped rather than thrown. Raku is typically delicate, lightweight, and earthy to the touch. Aka (red) raku bowls are fired at 800 degrees, whilst the kuro (black) bowls can be fired up to 1200 degrees. The glaze for black bowls is made from crushed black stones retrieved from the Kamogawa river in Kyoto. Red bowls are coloured by adding translucent glaze over a pinkish clay body. When using raku bowls you should always wipe well with a warm cloth before use. It is possible to cause small cracks if you suddenly add boiling water.Sizes


Dragons are very popular symbols in Japanese culture. With mythical animals and boundless strength and wisdom, dragons are divided into two main categories, those of the sky and those of the sea. Yes, because in Japan these creatures also live in the abysses of the oceans, another very strong symbol for the culture of the Rising Sun.

Ryu and Tatsu

The words that the Japanese use to define these beautiful mythological animals are two: ryu (yes, like the famous character of Street Fighter) and tatsu, which instead refers to a language more dating back in time.

Yin and Yang

The dragons are the personification of the yin and the yang, the symbol of good and evil that cross each other and that, although separated, can not live without mixing as much as necessary.

9 animals for a dragon

In Japanese culture these creatures resemble a little, at least in structure, to manticore, chimeras and hydra, mythological animals closer to our culture, which are composed of pieces of other animals. In the case of Ryu we have as many as 9 animals to compose his body:

the deer by the horns, the camel by the head, the rabbit for the eyes, the snake for the body, a shell for the chest, the carp for the scales, the eagle for the claws, the tiger for the legs and the ram for the ears.

The meaning

They represent strength, courage and magic in Japanese culture. Unlike ours, they do not have wings, but they manage to fly anyway, thanks to a particular organ that resides in the head and that guarantees it to fly magically in flight.

Types of dragon

1. Ryujin

Also called Watatsumi, this dragon is the god of the sea according to the most ancient Japanese culture. Symbolizes the strength of the sea.

2. Benten

benten-tattoThe goddess of the sea rode a dragon. After marrying him to end the terror he sowed among the people, he became the goddess of love.

Today Benten is also considered a protector of artists and musicians.

3. The blue dragon

He is the guard and protector of the zodiac. Symbolizes leadership, command and ability to lead an army of powerful.

4. Kiyo

Kiyo was once human. She was a girl who, married to a monk, was abandoned shortly thereafter. After being abandoned she studied the magic to become a dragon, and after having succeeded she killed the monk who had abandoned her. It symbolizes revenge and the consequences of surrendering to desire.

5. Or Goncho

It is a white dragon that appears every 50 years, under the disguise of a golden bird. With a lamentation can create famines. It symbolizes lack and distress.

Are they good or bad?

Contrary to what you think, Japanese dragons are not always benevolent. There are many bad guys, which symbolize the dark side of Japanese mythology. The most famous are:

1. Yofune-nahsi: it symbolizes the hidden truths and the freedom that is acquired thanks to the truth

2. Yamata-no-orochi: symbolizes the danger that hides in an enterprise before it has been completely completed.

3. Uwibami: symbolizes prudence, controlling all the roads before embarking on a journey.

The difference with Chinese dragons

The Japanese dragons resemble, and a lot, the Chinese ones. The bulk of the difference, in two traditions that are very close, is mainly in the number of fingers: three for the jap, five for the Chinese.

The term of "Raku" was derived from the site where clay was dug in Kyoto in the late 16th century and is found in Kanji character meaning "enjoyment" or "ease."

For 15 generations it has been the title and seal used by a lineage of potters whose work formed the central tradition in Japan. This lineage believes that 'Raku' refers to the potters who use the technique, not the technique itself. In 16th century, the first of these potters, Chojiro is said to have come under the patronage of the Japanese tea master , Sen-No-Rikyu. According to legend, in 1598, the ruler, Hideyoshi Toyotomi, after Chojiro's death in 1592, bestowed upon his adopted son, Jokei, a golden seal with the written symbol "raku." Both the name and the ceramic style have been passed down through the family to the present. After the publication of a manual in the 18th century, raku ware was also made by numerous workshops in and around Kyoto: by amateur potter tea practitioners and by professional and amateur potters around Japan.

Raku ware marked an important point in the historical development of Japanese ceramics, as it is the first ware to use a seal mark and the first to focus on close collaboration between potter and patron. Other famous Japanese clay artists of this period include Donyu (1574-1656), Hon-Ami Koetsu (1556-1637) and Ogata Kenzan (1663-1743).