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

Monday, June 20, 2011

Sad News; The Passing of Utsumi Teiko

One day I'll never forget is the first time I stepped into the Mingeikan Folk Craft Museum in Tokyo; the majestic building has a presence as a house of immense soul and beauty. It was truly a profound visit and for any who have not visited the Mingeikan before I hope you have the chance to do so before that final breath. Of which, I'm very sad to say, the lovely and gracious Utsumi Teiko, took the other day; she passed away June 16th from cancer at the age of 79; the Japanese press had a short spot on it: Utsumi-san served as international director of the museum for many years and was the mother of the equally gracious and lovely Mimura Kyoko, also a great ambassador for the Mingeikan. On my first visit to the Minkeikan many years ago, Utsumi-san took me into the director's office and much to my great surprise was my Japan Times column pasted to the wall; "not in a very long time has someone written such a poignant and spot-on article about this museum," she told me. I was extremely moved to hear that. I'm sure that for all who had the honor to have met her you know how I feel when I say she was a shining light for the Mingeikan and will be missed very much. My condolences to her family and to all who were touched by Utsumi Teiko, I for one was very deeply.


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