Robert Yellin's Japanese Pottery Blog

Greetings from Kyoto, We've just moved our gallery into a magnificent old Sukiya style home located very near the Silver Pavilion; a stunning area and setting for the inspired ceramic art we share with the world. Please visit us if ever in Kyoto or online at and

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

New Green Tea Season

Shincha--fresh green tea--is always a highlight of spring. Last weekend Yamani-en, an award-winning green tea producer in Numazu, held a shincha-new-green tea event and we were invited to show various yunomi. The event lasted about five hours and hundreds of people came. I explained about the enjoyment of ocha--green tea--using a fine yunomi, believe it or not most Japanese don't even think about this anymore; they feel the porcelain mass-produced stuff is alright, until they touch a yunomi with soul. We'll be offering some of Yamani-en's ocha after 'golden week' (April 29-May 6) along with a yunomi 'sale' on our gallery. In the meantime, please enjoy some views of the event.....

Monday, April 23, 2007

One Million Yen Whiskey in a Special Bottle

And what might that special bottle be? A B&W photo can be seen here snipped from a weekend newspaper article; the bottle is a Kutani creation by Living National Treasure Tokuda Yasokichi III. The 35 year-old oak-aged Suntory whiskey is limited to 150 bottles and is priced at a cool million yen, tax excluded. Feeling the urge to splurge, toll-free number is just a dial away at 0120-139310, Japanese only and no checks accepted!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Japan Ceramic Art Exhibition 2007

The biennial Japan Ceramic Art Exhibition opened in Tokyo yesterday at the Daimaru Museum and runs until April 24th. It then travels to Osaka, also at Daimaru, from May 16th-21st. The grand prize went to a celadon work by Shiga Akiyoshi, which I look forward to seeing in person as the work from the photo--seen here--looks proficient, yet truly boring! More award winning works seen here--including Tanoue Shinya--and look for more photos after I get to the exhibition next week. Information in Japanese can be read here:

Japan Art Academy Award for Morino Taimei

One of Kyoto's most celebrated ceramic artist--Morino Taimei--was recently awarded the prestigious Japan Art Academy Award for his henko-jar titled Daichi or Earth. This award is on the same level as of a Living National Treasure, yet differs in that only one work is selected and not an entire career or technique. Previous ceramic artists to have won this award include Imai Masayuki, Kawai Seitoku, Kiyomizu RokubeVI, Aoki Ryozan, Asakura Isokichi and Ohi Toshiro(ChozaemonX), among others. A list of all past winners with photos in Japanese only can be viewed at Morino's award-winning work was exhibited at the 2006 Nitten and is seen in the photo here, courtesy of the Nitten homepage at
An article in the Asahi Newspaper lists other winners as well, in Japanese only though: