KOGEI & Me

Yoshiyasu Harada / Ayako Harada

周りに流されない、自然体のものづくりを

Creating from my natural position, I am able to distinguish myself from others.

Mr. Yoshiyasu Harada and his wife Ayako are leading Kichiemon Porcelain Co., Ltd.in Arita. Mrs. Harada is from Gunma Prefecture and learnt textile and dyes in an art school in Tokyo. After marrying Mr. Harada, she moved to Arita, the region in which she had always been interested for its tradition of pottery and the life in its close community. With the growth of her attachment to the town, she has been supporting the business of the family. Mr. Harada is the eldest son of the manufacture of porcelain which has run for generations. Even when he was very young, he was already aware that he would be the successor as he possessed “yoshi” in his name which is the same character as their house name. However, he majored in metal-casting instead of pottery in the department of craft in an art university to learn chemical reaction and preparation. Subsequently, after returning to Arita, he created his unique technique called “Awagesho” which was developed from “Icchin (slip)”, a painting technique to decorate surface of vessels or plates, a technique used since his grandfather’s generation. This unique work made him to be viewed with awe as an artisan. “I used to make something to conform to others, but now I can work in a natural stance. Here, I want to continue to make products that I can be satisfied with.” says Mr. Harada. Loving their community, two of them etch an image of a family who work together by supporting each other.

有田の窯元、吉右ヱ門窯を率いる原田吉泰さん・愛矢子さんご夫婦。愛矢子さんは、群馬県出身。東京の美術学校で染めや織物を学んだ。有田の陶芸の伝統と地域性の密な暮らしには結婚前から興味があったという。吉泰さんとの結婚を機に、有田へ。そして、その土地への愛情は一段と深まり、窯の仕事を積極的にサポートしてきた。吉泰さんは、代々続く吉右ヱ門窯の長男。自分の名前に窯と同じ「吉」の字があることから、後継者としての意識は、幼いころに芽生えていたが、大学では工芸科で鋳金を専攻し、金属の化学変化や調合を学んだ。その後有田に戻った吉泰さんは、祖父の代から続く器の表面に装飾を施す技法「イッチン」を発展させた、「泡化粧」と呼ばれる独自の手法を生み出し、作り手として一目置かれる存在となった。「昔は周りに同調するようなものづくりをしていたが、今は自然体で取り組めるようになった。この地で、自分自身が納得できるものを作っていきたい。」と語る吉泰さん。地域を慈しみ、共に支え合いながら仕事に勤しむ家族の姿がそこにはあった。

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