A day of two halves. In the morning a visit in the north of Kyoto to the contemporary ceramics gallery managed with great verve and passion by Robert Yellin (the Robert Yellin Yakimono Gallery). Robert specializes in contemporary Japanese studio ceramics. He talked about the contradictions of the Mingei (Folk craft) tradition: its sense of modesty and the anonymity of the maker; and the very personal drive to express and explain its importance by the individual forcefulness of its public champions: Kawai, Hamada and Leach. The work was set in the context of a 100 year old traditional house, a fine and tranquil setting.
Moving on after a walk along the near by Philosophers Way, back into the centre of Kyoto and the old pottery district, an inspiring meeting with Mrs Tamae Sagi, the Curator of the Kawai Kanjiro House (and Grand-daughter of Kawai) and the chance to see his own work set out both in the domestic setting and in his studio, with a majestic climbing kiln at the back of the property. Joined again by Koichiro Isaka, we were privileged to see an exceptionally important porcelain vase by Leach made under the tutelage of his Master, Kenzan in Tokyo, as well as a suite of photographs of Kawai Kanjiro.