KOGEI & Me Craftspeople and Their Stories
- 1980, 1981
- Saga Prefecture, Gunma Prefecture
- Kichiemon Porcelain
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.