Monthly Picks (Oct.)
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Monthly Picks - Oct. 2003

Each month we present some of our favorite books. Prices include both shipping and tax.

Onta-Yaki.jpg TITLE: Onta-Yaki
  • Published by Unsodo, 1998
  • 217 X 280 mm
  • Soft cover
  • 128 pages, 111 photos (color and B&W)
  • Language Japanese only
  • Onta-yaki is a famous mingei-folk pottery style fired in Oita prefecture. Here is a very comprehensive book full of color photographs that show all aspects of Onta-yaki, including historical and contemporary examples, materials, and location. Essays include "Onta and Artisans," "The Beauty of Onta," "The Making of Onta-yaki," and "The History of Onta-yaki." In the last section there are photos of Onta potters in the various processes of making, including the famous ladle glazes and chattermarks. An introduction to ten kilns still in production is also found.


Rikyu-Shape-and-Design.jpg TITLE: Rikyu-Gata: Rikyu's Shape and Design
  • Published by Sekaibunkasha, 1991
  • 230 X 286 mm
  • Hard cover
  • 216 pages, 178 photos (color and B&W)
  • Language Japanese only
  • Sen no Rikyu (16th century) is considered the greatest Tea master ever and he set many "ways" of doing things that survive today. That includes being an artistic director for many wares. This book looks at the various designs and shapes of works that Rikyu favored or created. We find tea caddies, kettles, mizusashi, tea bowls (mostly Raku), tea scoops and examples of other instruments (made of clay, metal, bamboo and lacquer) used in a Way of Tea Gathering and meal. Large color photographs accompany the introductory text of each item. This good introduction to a beautiful Tea aesthetic is bound in purple cloth and comes in a colorful slipcase.


Kamoda-Shoji-1973-1980.jpg TITLE: Kamoda Shoji 1973-1980
  • Published by Mashiko Museum of Ceramic Art, 2003
  • 224 X 278 mm
  • Soft cover
  • 84 pages, 84 photos (color and B&W)
  • Language Japanese and English
  • Kamoda Shoji was one of Japan's most influential 20th century potters. He passed away at the young age of 49. The Togei Messe Mashiko Gallery has undertaken a three-part exhibition to feature the works of the other great Shoji -- the first being Hamada of course. Their styles are completely different, though, and each has an award named after them at the Mashiko Ceramic Exhibition. This catalog is part two of the series and focuses on 80 works made between 1973-1980. We find gaunt arabesque designs on some works and colorful inlaid enamel on others. Most works are tsubo-jars, yet there are examples of tea bowls and cups as well as sake utensils. Very brief introduction, simple photo captions, and list of works in English, but all main essays in Japanese only.


Tojiro-Vol-30.jpg TITLE: Tojiro Volume 30 - Shino and Oribe
  • Published by Futabasha, 2003
  • 210 X 287 mm
  • Paperback
  • 132 pages, 90 photos (color and B&W)
  • Language Japanese only
  • Tojiro is one of Japan's leading quarterly ceramic journals and Volume 30 focuses on two themes: Shino-Oribe and the "Wives of Potters." The leadoff feature looks at the histories of Shino and Oribe with many color examples of historical pieces. Also shown are 20th century revivalists Arakawa, Rosanjin, Kato T. and Okabe, as well as modern masters such as living national treasure Suzuki Osamu, Koie Ryoji, Suzuki Goro, Matsuzaki Ken and eight others. Shops around Japan that offer contemporary Shino-Oribe conclude the feature. Articles continue on Christopher Dresser, medieval Sanage-Tokoname-Atsumi wares, among others.


Raku-daidai-Generations.jpg TITLE: Nihon Toji Taikei Volume 17:
Chojiro-Raku Daidai (The Raku Generations)

  • Author Fusenshi Okochi
  • Published by Heibonsha, 1990
  • 187 X 264 mm
  • Hard cover
  • 138 pages, 81 photos (color and B&W)
  • Language Japanese only
  • Part of a 28-volume series published in 1990, volume seventeen focuses on Chojiro, the founder of Raku ware, and his successive generations. Forty-five Chojiro works are shown, mostly Red and Black Raku tea bowls with profile and foot color photographs. Examples continue up to the 14th generation. A detailed text follows with many examples of tea bowls, signatures and letters, as well as a seal chart used to stamp works. A list of works is in English, all else in Japanese only.


Utsuwa-ni-Tsuyokunaru.jpg TITLE: Utsuwa ni Tsuyokunaru (Getting to Know Vessels)
  • Published by Sekaibunkasha, 2002
  • 220 X 273 mm
  • Soft cover
  • 290 pages, 244 photos (color)
  • Language Japanese only
  • A useful guide to various ceramic and lacquer vessels showing hundreds of color photographs of shapes and usage. Plates, bowls, chopstick rests, tea cups, mukozuke serving dishes and much more for the table, along with a pottery guide, and introductions to ceramic centers, potters and shops. This magazine-style book is a fun way to learn about contemporary Japanese vessels.


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