Bizen Saikumono Master Isezaki Yozan
Isezaki Yozan (1902-1961) was one of Bizen's greatest 20th century saikumono-sculptor potters. In Taisho 8 (1919) he entered the famous saikumono Bizen workshop of Korakuen (Kimura Chojiro) before establishing his own kiln in Showa 8 (1933). He was designated an Okayama Prefectural Intangible Cultural Property in Showa 29 (1954); other Bizen potters designated with him that year included Kaneshige Toyo and Fujiwara Kei, both were to become Living National Treasures. In his younger years Kaneshige was also a gifted saikumono potter. Isezaki is also the father of current Living National Treasure Isezaki Jun and his elder brother Mitsuru; if you are a Bizen fan then you surely know the Isezaki family. A few years ago a very small 'museum' was opened just across the street from Mitsuru's wonderful gallery-home featuring some fabulous Yozan works on the second floor. For anyone visiting Bizen and wanting to see a part of Bizen's history that few know about then a visit is highly recommended.