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, July 29, 2009

Kaneko Jun's First Tokyo Exhibition

From the Asahi Newspaper, in Japanese only though:
Showing at Tokyo midtown until August 2nd. Photo Courtesy of Asahi Newspaper:

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A Subway ride, the past and present.....

So, I'm in Tokyo yesterday wondering how in the world could anyone survive a summer in such a concrete jungle; finished my meeting early--stay tuned for a new ceramic focused travel company, mostly for potters--and wondered should I hang around the jungle or head home to the bay. No brainer, chose the later and made a beeline for the subway station. As I'm waiting for the train to arrive who should I spy out the corner of my eye but Seto veteran ceramic artist Kato Kiyoyuki! "Kato-sensei," I call out and he is just as surprised as I was; "Oh yeah, you're the fellow I met at the Japan Ceramic Society exhibition who has a gallery in Mishima, right?" Right, and so we take the same train and then board the same bullet train, me for Mishima(45 minutes) and he to Nagoya(a few hours). I ask him what he was in Tokyo for and he replied it was an event at the Sogetsu ( and now he too couldn't wait to head on home. Time was short so I asked him what he's making these days---large pieces in Echizen--his background--family made Oribe roof tiles---and what his plans were for coming exhibitions--nothing this year, next year Tokyo----and I said he might think about taking his family history and make it the theme for his next exhibition, mainly Oribe jars as he hasn't done that for a long time. He liked that idea and even said he has some glaze vats that his pop and grandfather mixed; perfect! Perfect was not how he was feeling though that the long-running Asahi Ceramic Art Exhibition had been shut down for good, he was darn right pissed off. I then asked about growing up after WWII and if he was influenced by Sodeisha---not one iota---and that he was never impressed with Yagi Kazuo---Mr.Samza's walk was boring compared to Noguchi--and that his main influence back then was the ceramic artist Yasuhara Kimei! Now I told him how I also liked Yasuhara and that I've offered some of his works at our gallery, he liked that a lot. A few photos are seen here from a Yasuhara retrospective catalog in my library, dating from 1933-1964. I hope to have more Yasuhara one day. Well, Mishima was on the horizon and I bid sayonara, he was very pleased of our happy coincidence to meet as was I. I also hope to visit him in Seto soon, a major ceramic artist and a very nice gentleman too.
Two debut exhibitions happening and one is Ajiki Jun at Ichihata,Matsue from July 23-29, whose chawan we were the first to show in the world and we have a few gems at www.japanesepottery now, and the Okayama debut at Tenmaya of Miyao Masayuki on now until July 21st; best to both of these emerging talents!