For several hundred years, Japanese porcelain has been highly acclaimed and sought after around the world. Sophisticated porcelain ware has long been produced in the Arita area of Kyushu, and artisans from the Kakiemon family have gained particular renown for their skill in enamels and their artistic designs.
Now, for the first time, the techniques and tradition behind the creation of their ceramic works are disclosed through the words of the late Kakiemon XIV. Starting with his childhood memories, he talks about his father and grandfather and what he inherited from them; how the craftsmen work at the kiln; and how materials such as stone, clay, and firewood play a crucial part in creating the works. Most striking of all are the explanations of aka-e overglaze enamels and nigoshide porcelain, the characteristics that make Kakiemon ware so phenomenal.
With more than twenty color plates depicting Kakiemon pieces from museums and private collections, this volume provides rare insight into one of the world’s most famous kilns.
Sakaida Kakiemon XIV (1934–2013) was born in Arita, Saga Prefecture, the eldest and only male child of ceramicist Kakiemon XIII. He graduated from the nihonga department of Tama Art University and then returned to Arita to apprentice at his family's kiln. Following his father's death in 1982, he succeeded to the family name and became the fourteenth generation Kakiemon. His first exhibition abroad was held in San Francisco in 1983; since then, his works have been displayed around the world, including in the British Museum. In 1993 he was appointed the honorary chairman of the International Academy of Ceramics. Kakiemon XIV was designated as a Living National Treasure by the Japanese government in 2001, and in 2005 he was awarded the Third Class of the Order of the Rising Sun. He passed away in 2013.