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

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Two Books...

Two books fell into my lap recently; one more of a pamphlet that tackles a weighty subject, namely the Zen aesthetic term of wabi and its association with the chawan-tea bowl. Veteran Australian potter Milton Moon has put together 'Wabi and the Chawan' and its a gem of a 15-page monograph. Moon contacted me some months ago asking for photos and I sent over a few, ironically the first one in the pamphlet is a Ki-Seto chawan by Kagami Shukai. Others in the book are Kako Katsumi, Kakurezaki Ryuichi, Maruta Munehiko, and of course Moon's own chawan. The pamphlet was published by the Australian Ceramics Association and Milton Moon; web sites for both are and
The other book was given to me last Saturday at a memorial service in Shizuoka city, see The author of 'Japanese Military Sake Cups 1894-1945' Dan King was in attendance and was kind enough to sign a copy of his book for me. These small sake cups were used for all kinds of military purposes and the book notes these with many photos as well as prices of each piece. Published by Shiffer Publishing and available at I do believe. Dan is a historian and his web site is

Monday, June 01, 2009

Kagami Shukai.......Sad News

It is with great shock and sadness that I write this; just today I learned that one of the greatest Ki-Seto potters of all time, a great man and gentleman, a man who was always so very kind to me when I visited him and he here to our gallery, a humble man who had just built a new kiln and workshop, ready to get back to work after many kiln failures........Kagami Shukai, was killed in a car accident last month on the 21st. A sad day here in Mishima. I wrote this some years ago: