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Touching Stone Japanese Ceramic Gallery
Featured Artists

Japanese pottery has evolved over the centuries into a high art form. Pottery played a central role in development of Japanese art and culture.  Since the Kamakura period (1183-1333), wood-fired pottery from the six oldest historic Japanese pottery centers (Bizen, Echizen, Tanba, Seto, Shigaraki, and Tokoname) helped to cultivate a unique aesthetic appreciation that revered quiet understated beauty. Zen monks were among the first to extol the virtue and beauty of simple austerity. By the Momoyama period (1573-1614), a unique aesthetic sensibility was firmly established with the acceptance of ceramic utensils for the Japanese tea ceremony by influential tea masters like Sen-no-Rikyu. The Edo period (1615-1866) saw an exuberant explosion of artistry at all levels of society, yet striving for quiet nobility and restrained elegance remained the highest goal of artistic achievement. Throughout this development, pottery embodied the essence of  wabi sabi, an often misunderstood aesthetic sensibility that has far-reaching influence on contemporary art both in the East and the West. Today, ceramists in various pottery centers continue their heritage, producing timeless works of art using traditional materials and techniques refined through centuries of experience.

Touching Stone Gallery honors this rich heritage by showing significant bodies of work of outstanding contemporary ceramic artists from Japan. All the exhibitions in our gallery are viewable on our web site, bringing the works to international attention and offering a useful resource for collectors and artists worldwide.

Hiroyuki Wakimoto
Hiroyuki Wakimoto Vase

Kazuyo Hiruma

Kazuyo Hiruma Ceramic
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Bizen Pottery
The areas around Bizen next to the Inland Sea in the Okayama prefecture have been producing some of the most beautiful traditional ceramics since the 12th century. Bizen ceramic wares are prized for their warm reddish brown colors and restrained understated beauty. Bizen ceramics are typically fired at high temperature - over 1100oC, and often have distinctive red or black fire marks. Each piece of Bizen pottery has a unique personality, making it highly collectible. Bizen pottery is said to remind us of our singular existence shaped by fate and circumstances.
Hiroyuki Wakimoto Testament 6a  Hiroyuki Wakimoto Testament 12c 
Hiroyuki Wakimoto
wood-fired vase/sculpture No.6
10.5"h x 8" x 3"  Sold 
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Hiroyuki Wakimoto
wood-fired vase/sculpture No.12
 14"h x 9.5" x 7"  Sold
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Joji Yamashita
Dancer No.1

 13"h x 5.5" x 5.5"


Tanba* Pottery
Nestled in a beautiful valley between Shitodani and Muko rivers below the Kokuzou mountain in Hyogo prefecture west of Kyoto is the village Tachikui, the ancient pottery center of Tanba. Historic earth-tone Tanba wares were originally designed for storage and daily use, and had an unpretentious grace. Today, the areas around this rather remote locale are homes of many potters who continue to make excellent traditional Tanba wares as well as contemporary designs.

* Japanese names have meanings. The Japanese characters Tan (丹) and Ba (波) mean 'red waves'. Tanba (Land of Red Waves) was named after a type of red rice grown in ancient time which turned the area into a sea of red around harvest times. The name is often translated as Tamba, corrupting both its pronunciation and meaning.
Ichino Bowl 15a  Keiichi Shimizu Vase 6c   
Kiyoharu Ichino
wood-fired Akadobe bowl N0.15
18" x 14" x 8.5"h  Sold
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Keiichi Shimizu 
vase No.6
12" x 6.5" x 8.5"h   Sold 

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Tadashi Nishihata
large akadobe-yu bowl No.21
14" x 12" x13"h  Sold  
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Shigaraki & Iga Pottery
Shigaraki, an old pottery center in the mountains, produces an excellent clay with relatively low iron content. Shigaraki pottery is traditionally fired without glaze in wood-fueled kilns. At one time, this area produced some of the most beautiful and revered ceramics in Japan. Today, the town is flooded with mass-produced utility grade pieces and ceramic reproductions of a raccoon-like creature called Tanuki, popular as a decoration in many Japanese shops. Good pieces by contemporary potters who continue the great Shigaraki tradition are much sought after.

Located south of Shigaraki, Iga is another old pottery center with a pottery tradition dating back at least 1,200 years. During the Momoyama period (1573-1600), Iga was synonymous with some of the most revered tea ceremony ware in Japan. Today, there are fewer than several dozen active potters in Iga. One of the most notable contemporary Iga ceramists is Yoshitaka Hasu, who is taking the ancient tradition to new levels.
 Yoshitaka Hasu Vase 1 Yoshitaka Hasu Vase 11a Hasu Vase 18c
Yoshitaka Hasu
wood-fired vase No.1
11.5" x 10" x 9.5"h 
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Yoshitaka Hasu
wood-fired vase No.11
9" x 8" x 10.5"h  Sold
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Yoshitaka Hasu
wood-fired vase No.18
8" x 8" x 9"h  
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Echizen Pottery
The picturesque areas in Fukui prefecture overlooking the  Japan Sea produce another distinctive warm-tone ceramic style known as Echizen. One can find remnants of ancient noborigama (climbing kilns) and pottery shards hundreds of years old littering the countryside here. Echizen ceramics are typically fired at high temperature to a deep shade of brown, with distinctive and often intense fire markings that contrast with their overall subdued colors. A number of highly innovative potters work in this area.
  Reiko Kakiuchi-Cohen Vase 39
Reiko Kakiuchi-Cohen
wood-fired vase No.11  Sold
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Reiko Kakiuchi-Cohen
wood-fired vase No.39 w/ iron stand Sold
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Shichizaemon Kitano
wood-fired mizusashi w/ wooden box Sold
6" x 6" x 6" 


Seto Pottery 
Among the old historic pottery centers, Seto is the only one that made glazed ceramics since the Heian Period. Seven types of glaze have been developed (Kiseto, Koseto, Shino, Oribe, Kaiyu, Tetsuyu, and Ofuke), each with its own distinct aesthetics. For example, Kiseto (yellow Seto) is famous for its delicate greenish yellow finish that accentuates the typically thin-walled ceramics. Oribe is characterized by intricate colorful geometric patterns, whereas Shino wares are tastefully decorated with simple drawings reminiscent of haiga (Zen paintings that accompany haiku). The areas around Seto are homes of numerous artists, who produce a rich variety of both traditional and contemporary works.
    Mori Kuro Oribe Teabowl 
Shukai Kagami
Kiseto tea bowl 
3.25"H x 5" x 4.5"  Sold 
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Moriyuki Ando
Bowl w/ haiyu kairagi glaze 
20.5" x 13" x 7"h 
Tadashi Mori
Black Oribe tea bowl #9
4.5" x 4.5" x 3.5"h
  See Show 


Contemporary Japanese Pottery 

The extraordinary depth and history of Japanese pottery inspire contemporary artists whose aim is not only to continue the heritage, but to take it beyond in pursuit of their artistic visions. Their best works have evolved beyond traditions and are conceptually sophisticated and driven by ideas. Touching Stone Gallery is privileged to showcase outstanding examples of these contemporary works.

  Fusako Akao Memory of Time F4
Fusako Akao

Memory of Time F4  

Ceramic sculpture 16.5" x 8" x 12"h  Sold

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Tadashi Ito Quintessence 6  Yukiya Izumita Weathered Beauty 6  Ryo Mikami Mask 17 
Tadashi Ito
Quintessence Bowl No.6  ceramic sculpture
15" x 13.5" x 5.5"h  Sold  

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Yukiya Izumita
Weathered Beauty No.6 ceramic sculpture
15" x 10" x 5.5"h  Sold  
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Ryo Mikami

Mask No.17 (Deliberate) Pit-fired ceramic

 8.5" x 5"   Sold   

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Tadashi Mori Incense Burner 14a  Hiromi Okumura Metaphor 17a  Yoko Terai Form 23 

Tadashi Mori
Incense Burner No.14 
 9" x 4.5" x 8"   Sold
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Hiromi Okumura
Metaphor No.17  Shu-heki stoneware

12" x 8" x 7"h     Sold

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Yoko Terai
Form #23
6.5"h x 9" x 7 Sold

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