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Tanegashima Yakishime Tea Bowl

Craft Artist
Takashi Nakazato
Karatsu, Saga Prefecture
Φ110 × H72 mm

A breath of Tanegashima Island

This piece, “Tanegashima Yakishime Tea Bowl,” is fired unglazed using clay sourced from Tanegashima Island in Kagoshima Prefecture. The form, lightly on the potter’s wheel, is delightfully cheerful, and the glossy, fresh clay surface has an irresistible texture. As Takashi Nakazato says, “The clay from Tanegashima, rich in iron, is perfect for unglazed firing, producing a deep, flavorful character.” True to his words, the soft expressions from red to brown produced by the unpredictable yohen effects during firing exude an indescribable richness.

Born in Karatsu, Takashi honed his ceramic skills in both Kyoto and Karatsu. In search of a new type of ceramic beyond the boundaries of traditional Karatsu style, he began creating ceramics on Tanegashima in 1971. This move was prompted by the recommendation of ceramic researcher Fujio Koyama, who aimed to revive the long-defunct Tanegashima ware style known as Yokino ware which had fallen out of production in the Meiji era (1868-1912). This journey led to the creation of the yakishime unglazed ceramic with beautiful yohen effects known as Tanegashima ware.

After making ceramics in Tanegashima, Takashi returned to Karatsu and established the Ryutagama kiln. He has continued to produce a variety of works in diverse places around the world. His free-spirited and open-hearted pieces have captured the hearts of many people.