A traditional Japanese fountain incorporating a Persian-style basin made by the Koubei Gama, in Tajimi. The most famous potter in the family, Takuo Kato, was a Living National Treasure of Japan. Already a 6th generation potter of Mino ware, he developed a passion for ancient Persian lustreware and became a leading expert in its restoration. The museum is adjacent to the kiln and housed in a beautiful 200 years old wooden building. It was dismantled from another site and rebuilt in Tajimi in the 20th century.
The exhibit includes a large number of medieval and later Persian pottery. The pots somehow work very well in this context and the combination is a refreshing change from the usual mix of Japanese, Korean and Chinese ware that is ubiquitous in Japan. Still, it was a pleasure to look up close (and even touch) a 13th c. Goryeo celadon vase. It was an unusual privilege for me, used as I am to the strict rules of Western museums. I don't know why museums in Japan trust their visitors so much but I enjoyed the experience.
Two bowls by the son of the 7th generation potter of the Koubei kiln in Tajimi, Japan. Of all the oribe pottery we saw in town, this was by far the most beautiful. Many potters try to employ more contemporary motifs and graphic styles on oribe ware. Personally I find the traditional ones still work best. Something about the fluidity of the hand-strokes and spontaneity in the application of the copper glaze makes this pair of bowls a bit special.
The bowls are beautiful and precious. My only criticisms is they are very thin and look fragile. Thin earthenware makes me nervous. Potters often say that pots need to look, not just be, durable. I agree and so I use the bowls but keep them in a box, which I don't like to do. All our other pottery is in the kitchen cupboard.