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Hamada Shōji 濱田 庄司

Hamada Shōji
bio pt 1

(1894-1978)

HAMDA SHŌJI attained unsurpassed recognition at home and abroad for his simple approach to functional ceramics. Early on he worked with Tomimoto Kenkichi (1886-1963) and Kawai Kanjirō (1890-1966) in Kyoto at the Kyoto Ceramics Research Institute. Inspired by Okinawan and Korean ceramics in particular, Hamada became an important figure in the Mingei (Japanese folk arts) Movement in the 1960s and was a founding member of the Japan Folk Art Association together with Bernard Leach, Kawai Kanjirō, and Yanagi Sōetsu.

After 1923, he moved to Mashiko where he rebuilt farmhouses and established his large workshop. Throughout his life, Hamada demonstrated a wide range of painterly glazing, using such trademark glazes as tenmoku (iron), nuka (rice-husk ash glaze), and kaki (persimmon glaze). Through frequent visits, exhibitions, and demonstrations abroad, Hamada influenced many Western potters and his legacy continues to do so. He was designated a Living National Treasure in 1955.

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