Ceramics of the Past and the Future: The Timelessness of Traditional Japanese Craft Arts

未来へつなぐ陶芸 - 伝統工芸のチカラ 展

To those who wish to visit the "Ceramics Ceramics of the Past and the Future: The Timelessness of Traditional Japanese Craft Arts″ exhibition

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, we would like to request that you reserve the date and time of your visit in advance from our reservation website.

  • The admission fee is to be paid upon your visit.
  • We are not accepting reservations by phone or at the museum reception.

General Information

January 15 - March 21, 2022
10 a.m. – 6 p.m. (Admittance until 5:30 p.m.)
* Open until 8 p.m. (Admittance until 7:30 p.m.) on February 4 and March 4.
To prevent the spread of COVID-19 infection, the nighttime opening planned for Friday, February 4th will be cancelled.
Wednesdays (Except for February 23)
Adults: ¥1,000
Visitors aged 65 or over carrying proof of age: ¥900
Students (College): ¥700
Students (High / Middle school): ¥500
Admission is free for children in primary school and younger.
Admission is free for disability passbook holders and up to one accompanying adult.
Panasonic Shiodome Museum of Art, Japan Kōgei Association, NHK PROMOTIONS INC.
NHK ENTERPRISES, INC. Nagoya Branch Office
Minato City Board of Education

Exhibition overview

Japan’s proud tradition of ceramic art has diversified in technique and artistic style over the centuries and continues to evolve in remarkable ways today. Ceramicists have become more prolific since the postwar era, producing ambitious works one after another.

In 1950, the Japanese government enacted the Law for the Protection of Cultural Properties to preserve and promote artisan crafts known as kōgei, which are artisan crafts associated with specific regions and craft traditions within Japan and encompass a variety of disciplines including ceramics. Following an amendment to the law in 1954 that allowed for individual craft artists to be designated as Preservers of Important Intangible Cultural Properties (or Living National Treasures), a group of such artists founded the Japan Kōgei Association in 1955. The association was cofounded with other artisans and craftspeople working in the various fields of traditional kōgei. Members of the association display their art at the Japan Traditional Kōgei Exhibition. In addition, every year since 1973, the Ceramics Division of the association has hosted an Exhibition of New Ceramic Works, an opportunity for member artists to showcase their latest works.

In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Japan Kōgei Association’s Ceramics Division, this exhibition offers a retrospective view on the organization’s history and a selection of masterpieces by its artists. The artistry and beauty of ceramic art are demonstrated in a selection of tea bowls and other works by artists who have mastered the unique materials and traditions of kōgei ceramic styles, including current and former Living National Treasures. A selection of works by up-and-coming artists is another highlight of the exhibition.

The Shiodome Museum of Art has held many exhibitions celebrating kōgei and design. This exhibition will feature about 140 works, with a focus on contemporary ceramics; most of the artists are members of the Japan Kōgei Association’s Ceramics Division.

Exhibition highlights

1.An exhibition commemorating fifty years since the establishment of the Japan Kōgei Association’s Ceramics Division, who have long led efforts to promote traditional kōgei

2.Ceramic works by 137 modern and contemporary artists, including Preservers of Important Intangible Cultural Properties (Living National Treasures)

3.Masterpieces by deceased masters, as well as an exploration of the present and future of ceramics through works by up-and-coming artists

What is the Ceramics Division of the Japan Kōgei Association?

The Japan Kōgei Association was founded in 1955 by craftspeople and artisans of traditional kōgei, many of them Preservers of Important Intangible Cultural Properties (also known as Living National Treasures*). The artists of the Association’s Ceramics Division have organized an Exhibition of New Ceramic Works every year since 1973. In 2022, the division will celebrate the 50th anniversary of its founding.

*The title of Living National Treasure is awarded to individuals who have attained a high level of mastery in certain artistic skills, including those related to the traditional artisan crafts known as kōgei.

Section I: The Establishment of Traditional Kōgei

This section serves as an introduction to the works and activities of artists who were active in the early days of the Japan Kōgei Association.

Featured artists*: Kaneshige Toyo, Kamoda Shoji, Fujimoto Yoshimichi, Matsui Kosei, Matsui Kosei, Miwa Kyuwa (Kyusetsu Ⅹ),  and more

* Throughout this webpage, names are given in the Japanese order, with family name first.

Matsui Kōsei (1927-2003)
Large Neriage (Marbled) Jar with Layered Pattern (1979) 
Ibaraki Ceramic Art Museum

Special Topic I
Traditional Kōgei and Creative Kōgei

Exhibited here are works by well-known artists from the Japan Fine Arts Exhibition, an organization as influential in Japan as the Japan Kōgei Association.

Featured artists: Itaya Hazan, Kiyomizu Rokubei Ⅵ, Kusube Yaichi

Special Topic II
Living National Treasures

These works highlight the art of the first four ceramicists honored as Preservers of Important Intangible Cultural Properties in 1955.

Featured artists: Arakawa Toyozo, Ishiguro Munemaro, Tomimoto Kenkichi, Hamada Shoji

Tomimoto Kenkichi (1886-1963)
Jar with Landscapes and Characters Design in Underglaze Blue and Four-Petaled Floral Motif in Overglaze Enamels, Gold, and Silver (1957) 
The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo
Arakawa Toyozō (1894-1985)
Shino Tea Bowl (1957)  
The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo

Section II: The Artistry and Beauty of Traditional Kōgei

This section explores how the multifaceted artistry and beauty of traditional ceramics have expanded over time.

Featured artists: Inoue Manji, Imaizumi Imaemon XIII, Nakashima Hiroshi, Yoshida Minori, and more

Special Topic III
Ceramic Towns and Artistic Styles

These ambitious works were made by artists from towns around Japan that are famous for their ceramic traditions.

Featured artists: Isezaki Jun, Ichino Masahiko, Ito Sekisui V, Tokuda Yasokichi III, Fukushima Zenzo, Miwa Jusetsu

Tokuda Yasokichi III (1933-2009)
Yosai (Gleaming Colors) Bowl, Named Birth (1991) 
The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo
Fukushima Zenzo (1959-)
Nakano Moon-White Bowl (2017) 
Ibaraki Ceramic Art Museum

Special Topic IV
Tea Ware

These vessels are used in the tea ceremony, a practice that embodies traditional Japanese culture.

Featured artists: Kato Kozo, Suzuki Osamu, Tokuzawa Moritoshi, Hatano Zenzo, Raku Jikinyū XV

Section III: The Future of Traditional Kōgei

This section features a selection of works by contemporary ceramicists who draw on traditional skills and techniques.

Featured artists: Idogawa Yutaka, Imaizumi Imaemon XIV, Suzuki Tetsu, Maeda Akihiro, and more

Maeda Akihiro (1954-)
White Porcelain Jar (2012) 
The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo
Imaizumi Imaemon XIV (1962-)
Bowl with Snowflake Design in Overglaze Enamels and Bush Clover Motif in Sumi-Hajiki (2019) 
Private collection

Special Topic V
Materials and Artistic Styles

The artists featured here have explored new materials and developed original techniques.

Featured artists: Ishibashi Yushi, Kakurezaki Ryuichi, Shinno Iwao

Kakurezaki Ryuichi (1950-)
Wide-Mouthed Bizen Vase (2012) 
Private collection
Shinno Iwao (1957-)
Bowl with Raised Porcelain Linear Design (2011) 
Private collection

Special Topic VI
New Techniques and the Form of a Vessel

These works were created by up-and-coming artists who are breaking new ground in kōgei ceramics.

Featured artists: Isezaki Koichiro, Shibuya Eiichi, Nakada Hiroshi, Niisato Akio, Mitsuke Masayasu, Wada Akira

Wada Akira (1978-)
White Porcelain Pedestal (2017) 
Ibaraki Ceramic Art Museum