When I was a child, I loved playing in nature as well as making things by hand. So I used to go in the mountains to catch insects and go fishing in the river. At home I was absorbed in making plastic models which were very popular at the time. After my childhood, I had no idea what I wanted to do in the future, and I spent my days in a depressed state, working day jobs and changing jobs.
The turning point came to me when I was just 22 years old. My grandfather who loved me passed away. In general, it is common to cremate the deceased than bury them in Japan. We put the remaining bones in a ceramic urn called kotsutsubo. After putting them, kotsutsubo is buried in a grave. In other words, kotsutsubo is an important place that we spend our afterlife. However, the undertaker was about to put the bones of my grandfather in a dull-looking and mass-produced ceramic urn. At that moment I had a strong uncomfortable feeling: “is it the best place for him to end up in?” I decided then that I wanted my parents to enter in kotsutusbo that I make when they pass away.
The incident gave me the resolve to change my job to day laborer. I decided to go to Seto city because I thought the city that is famous for producing ceramic ware was the best place for me to learn pottery. I immediately enrolled in the Aichi Prefectural Ceramic Art School in Seto city and began to study pottery.
After graduation, I moved to the region of Mino, famous for Oribe and Shino style ceramic ware and trained with the focus on Minoyaki (Mino-style ceramic ware) to deepen my knowledge and skills. In Mino I discovered a type of ancient pottery called Atsumiyaki that was produced in the region of my hometown, Atsumi-Peninsula. Unlike Minoyaki which production started in the 15th century, the production of Atsumiyaki started in the 12th century (from the Heian period to the Kamakura period), and there are records of it being used as roof tiles for Todaiji Temple. I was soon attracted to Atsumiyaki and have been exploring the essence of pottery and Atsumiyaki ever since.
The themes of my works are “a fusion of the Middle Ages and modern times” and “harmonizing with nature”. “A fusion of the Middle Ages and the modern times” means an innovative approach using not only the solemnity and the excellent tecniques of the Middle Ages, but also a method that utilizes both the modern sense of beauty and modern usability. ” Harmonizing with nature” means respecting nature, using materials that have low impacts on the environment, and valuing the work done by human hands which cannot be done by machines, I aim to express the warmth and the harshness of nature in my works.
I put my whole heart and soul into my work while facing and struggling with mysef. Through pottery, I would be happy if I could help people aware of the depth of handcrafts and the wonderfulness of tradition.
The reason for my idea is because in Japan there seems to be a tendency of ignoring the traditional culture and methods. Although the abandonment of old ideas and methods contributed to the postwar economic recovery, it still remains that only something new is good in the minds of many young people. They have a prejudice against traditional things as being old-fashioned and less chances of experiencing such culture makes it worse. Particularly in recent years, as we live in a society where a great deal of new information come and go, it seems to me that we have few opportunities to experience Japanese traditions and to appreciate the value of the local orinal culture which cannot be restored after they are lost. In such a society, I believe that I have a responsibility to convey the richness of tradition , local culture and nature that I learned as a potrer.
There are no borders in making and using ceramics for life. I feel the joy of being able to communicate with people from all over the world by making ceramics works. I will continue to deepen exchanges with many people and work hard to improve the quality and technique of my artworks by making things that are rooted in the local community.
When I feel that I have come close to the ideal that I have had in mind, but then it drifts apart again. It seems I have been doing the same thing of this precess , but I hope that I will never stop moving forward, and that my life to be a path of forever longing and pursuing my ideal.