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Masters of Arita Yaki - Part 1

Updated: Mar 29, 2022


The kiln was founded in 1976 by Teruhiko, the father of the two brothers currently running the business. After his passing in 2009, both sons took over: Toshihiko, the eldest, is renowned for his designs of “Kachō Fūgetsu” (花鳥風月), signifying flowers, birds, breeze and moon; Kunihiko, the youngest, is acclaimed for his extremely precise and detailed geometric patterns.

In recent years, the two have produced several works together, combining their two specialties.


Hironori Kajihara’s specialty are Celadon wares, a type of pottery glazed in a jade green transparent glaze with cracks that gives it a Crystal-looking pattern.

Celadon usually makes us think of a beautiful glazed blue or green color; however, Celadon actually includes shades that vary from pale blue to olive green to pale yellow: Hironori Kajihara aims to explore all shades and creates their own original Celadon.


After graduating from Arita College of Ceramics, Nakao Jun trained under Living National Treasure Manji Inoue for 7 years. Afterwards he joined the Nakasen Kiln, currently co-run by his father Yasuzumi Nakao (head) and his uncle Hidezumi Nakao. Nakao Jun’s specialty is hakuji (white porcelain) and seihakuji (pale blue porcelain), characterized by unique shapes balanced with pure colors on the prevailing white, magnetic skin, staying true to his teacher’s teaching according to which "if the shape is beautiful, you don't need to decorate it".

His father’s works, Yasuzumi Nakao, are characterized by two main techniques:

Colored inlay, consisting in cutting the ceramic with a tiny blade to create a pattern on the neat magnetic skin;

Stippling inlay, realized by imprinting pigment on the surface while still soft using a cotton needle: the final result is similar to pointillism in paintings.

His uncle, Hidezumi Nakao, specializes in washi (Japanese paper) dyeing technique for painting: the paper is cut into pieces and applied through the potter’s wheel, creating shades and patterns.

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