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Oribe Fudo Myo-o Tea Bowl

Craft Artist
Makoto Yamaguchi
Seto, Aichi Prefecture
W142 × H100 × D127mm

A spirit of pioneering art

Makoto Yamaguchi is one of the most remarkable artists in the world of contemporary ceramics. His works, which show exceptional expressive power in all aspects of their form, glaze, and painting, are attracting a great deal of attention from both domestic and international audiences, and rightly so.

The “Oribe Fudo Myo-o Tea Bowl” is one of the Rinpa Oribe works that Makoto has developed in his own unique way, and could be said to be representative of his style. The checkered and tortoiseshell patterns painted in iron underglaze on the surface of the bowl are laid out without any space between them, and the plaster mold of Fudo Myo-o and seigaiha (blue ocean waves) are pasted on the surface. Oribe glaze is applied to the pasted areas, making the paintings appear to emerge in shades of green. The piece is made with a very elaborate technique, and no compromises are made in the 360-degree view, even down to the foot of the base.

The Fudo Myo-o (Acala, one of the Five Kings of Wisdom), which was introduced to Japan by Kukai and became familiar to the Japanese people during the Heian period (794-1185), is particularly well-known as the deity to which Takeda Shingen became deeply devoted to during the Warring States period (1467-1568). What the flame-wrapped Fudo statue may be looking at is a new world of art, and an artist passionately creating things that stir his own senses.