KOGEI STANDARD Japanese Crafts Online Media

KOGEI & Me Craftspeople and Their Stories

Masanori Soejima

副島 正稚
Soejima Glassware
Saga Prefecture
Saga Prefecture

Forming in the air while listening to the heat

Mr. Masanori Soejima is a glass craftsman who carries the next generation of Soejima glassware who excels at free-blown glass without using any mold. And this type of glass called “Hizen Vidro” is unique to the area of Saga. After studying glass making at the university and joining his family business, Mr. Soejima have learned techniques watching his father and seniors. The forming process of free-blown glass by hand requires day-to-day dialogues with heat. He says “Not only a hand dexterity but understanding of heat is also needed in the manufacturing of glass. We can change the form of glass in the air as long as we exactly aware of which part is cold and which part is hot.” While feeling responsibility as a successor of the traditional technique, he has an insatiable inquiring mind and is trying to improve the raw materials and manufacturing process. In spite of busy work without long break to continue operation and keep the fire of the workshop with a small number of skilled staff, he says “ I still do not know much about glass. I want to know about it more and yet more”. Mr. Soejima’s spirit keeps sparkling beautifully.