Through the fires of experience to beauty
By ROBERT YELLIN
for The Japan Times, July 8, 2000
Sake Cups (guinomi) by Yoshisuji Keiji
Yoshisuji Keiji is showing his anagama (tunnel-kiln) wares in Shizuoka City at Matsuzakaya department store's sixth floor gallery until July 12, 2000, in an exhibition entitled "Shizen-yu Yohen no Sekai."
Yoshisuji fires in Morimachi, western Shizuoka Prefecture, a place better known for green tea than pottery. Near the green-tea gardens he built his kiln in 1983 after having studied in Shigaraki with Yasuhisa Koyama in 1980 and a year in Hagi with Goro Tamura in 1981. It seems that the unglazed Shigaraki wares caught his fancy more than the thickly glazed Hagi wares (actually, he went to Hagi to study tea wares).
Yoshisuji has some wonderful colors that I've rarely seen on other yakishime vessels. Take for instance an intense green that looks like flowing river weeds, or his mauve tinges. A cup of his on my desk right now has a rich tsuchi aji ("clay flavor") and stunning hi-iro (fire color); inside is a small "jewel" -- a drop of ash from the kiln roof that landed in the cup to form a small pearl. Such is the serendipity of wood-fired kilns.
Or could it be the result of his firing the same pieces up to six times? He does this in order to differentiate his pots from other yakishime work, particularly Shigaraki. He feels that there is enough good Shigaraki being made in Shigaraki, and it makes no sense to fire Shigaraki look-alikes in Shizuoka.
About 60 pieces by Yoshisuji will be on display. Yoshisuji will be in the gallery every day.
The Japan Times: July 8, 2000
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Yoshisuji Keiji - Sake Vessels
Yoshisuji Keiji - Exhibition Review 2002