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Yohen Tenmoku

Craft Artist
Takemi Seto
Kanagawa Prefecture
Φ125 × H73 mm

Endless challenges

The Yohen Tenmoku, fired in the Jian kilns of Fujian Province, China, during the 12th and 13th centuries, have captivated numerous ceramic artists and researchers in Japan, China, and beyond, who have devoted their efforts to unraveling its extraordinary beauty. However, only a handful of artists have succeeded in creating works that come close to the level of the national treasures that still exist today.

Takemi Seto is one of those ceramic artists who has been captivated by the allure of the Yohen Tenmoku. His research on the Tenmoku has spanned many years, and he has actually visited the Jian kilns, touched the local clay, and engaged in exchanges with fellow researchers who share the same passion. His dedication is unparalleled. He tirelessly searches for clay similar to that found around the Jian kilns and seeks to replicate the firing process that was used at that time. Even though he fires hundreds of pieces each year, only a few of them meet his standards and are deemed worthy of being presented to the world. Through repeated trial and error and endless curiosity, he experiments and collects results, continuing his unyielding quest to reproduce the beauty of the Yohen Tenmoku.

Takemi’s Yohen Tenmoku creates a breathtakingly beautiful world within the bowl, with mottled patterns floating on the black glaze and vibrant azure hues surrounding them. It is a piece that invites contemplation of the enigmatic background of the Yohen as one’s gaze sinks with pure wonder into its mystical radiance.