The Appeal of Bizen Pottery

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The Return to Nature and Bizen Pottery

Foodstuffs fill our refrigerators and by microwave we defrost frozen-food and cook instant-meals. As a result, food preparation has become more simplified. In other words, the food habits of the present day is marked by functionality and convenience.

Wares that are heavy and hard to handle have been replaced by plastic wares that are light and easy to handle as well as paper products that can be suitably disposed of.
As a result of these conveniences, the dining table has become bland and meals have become dull. Meals that were once pleasant have transformed into meals that are had simply for the sake of sustenance and nourishment.

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At some point in time, people have made the effort to restore a more wholesome scene of meals at the dining table. They have come to call for a return to nature and the dull, insipid dining table has called for nature as well.

 

Rosanjin and Bizen Pottery

Originally, it had come to be said that Bizen Tokkuri (sake vessels) improved the taste of sake, that Bizen tea wares suited the Japanese tea room and that a Bizen vase could draw out the beauty of the flowers that were put in it.But from the appearance of one man, the value of Bizen was increased even further. His name was Kitaoji Rosanjin (1883-1959).

Rosanjin who was known as a gourmand and displayed a wide variety of talents. He had various sides to him, since he was also a gastrologist, painter, calligrapher, engraver, laquerware artist, craftsman, and ceramics artist. Rosanjin who came into contact with Bizen clays in his later years went to Bizen numerous times and in fact, made Bizen wares himself. It is said that he greatly influenced the Bizen potters who had the opportunity to view him making his wares.

Rosanjin who admired Bizen greatly, constructed a kiln resembling those of Bizen at his home in Kamakura and made his wares there.It is said that whether it was with vases or tableware, before using Bizen pottery one should apply water to it without fail in order to bring out its lustre. For Rosanjin, he knew very well the beauty of Bizen wares when they were soaked in water.

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