Kawai Kanjirō was born in Yasugi City. After studying ceramics in a school in Tokyo he pursued his research on glazes in Kyoto. In 1920 he built a kiln at Gojōzaka in Kyoto calling it the Shōkeiyō kiln, starting his career as a potter. In 1921, he went to Tokyo to hold his first exhibition where he got acquainted with Kawakatsu Ken’ichi who became his lifelong friend and supporter. He became instantly known for his mastery of glazes and of old Chinese and Korean ceramic styles and techniques. Nonetheless the immediate success he obtained, he never remained satisfied. Through the encounter with Yanagi Sōestu and Hamada Shōji, he turned towards the Mingei Movement, producing the work of functional nature in line with its philosophy of ‘beauty through use’. Later he experimented on bolder and more revolutionary forms and designs, establishing his realm of highly subjective introvert nature beyond technical supremacy.