Tea bowl, Shino ware
Arakawa Toyozō 1894-1985
Arakawa Toyozō was born in Tajimi, Gifu. He started working at the kiln of Miyanaga Tōzan in Kyoto and later for Rosanjin in Kamakura. In 1930 the discovery of shards at the archaeological kiln site of O’gama arouse him a fascination towards the 16th century Momoyama pottery, where he continued a series of excavation and made a research. He built up his own cave kiln in O’gama. Through the rediscovery of Shino techniques as well as working on old Black Seto and Yellow Seto wares, he achieved his own style with a modern essence in unique glaze tone rendering the work soft and elegant , often powerfully charged . In later years he built the Suigetsu kiln in Tajimi where he produced unglaze blue and overglaze red wares . He excelled in free and witty literati style painting on the pottery thanks to the training given in his youth. He was designated a Living National Treasure for Shino and Black Seto ware and award the Order of Culture of Japan.