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Kondō Yūzō

Kondō Yūzō

Photography courtesy of Kondō family

bio pt 1

(1902-1985)

Descended from a line of Kyoto samurai, KONDŌ YŪZŌ chose ceramics as his profession after finding inspiration in the clay traditions surrounding his family’s home near Kiyomizu Temple. He first studied at the Kyoto Ceramics Research Institute under the tutelage of Hamada before working under Tomimoto Kenkichi (1886-1963) at his personal kiln, at which time Tomimoto became his mentor.

Kondō sought to both work within and deviate from canonized sometsuke aesthetics. Accordingly, Kondō sought to work within traditional methods while deviating from the often pre-established themes characteristic of sometsuke. Instead, his designs were far more painterly and expressive than traditional images. His later works combined aka-e red overglaze and kinsai gold luster in the sometsuke style.

Both a professor and later president of Kyoto City University of Arts, Kondō Yuzō was designated a Living National Treasure in 1977 for his blue-and-white porcelain.

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