Craftmanship · A Hallmark of Japanese Design and Materials

"It's about never compromising. Sometimes you need to take the time to go the full distance to achieve the best results. That is creaftsmanship." Hiroyuki Agani

An NHK World TV program called "Design Talks" featured Kumamoto Prefecture artists in Japan. One of the segments focused on Hiroyuki Agani, a twelfth generation pottery artist creating works in celedon with white clay inlay, called Yatsushiro ware (or Koda ware).

Yatsushiro plate with inlay design of clouds and cranes · 1801 — 1870 · Yatsushiro Municipal Museum

Yatsushiro plate with inlay design of clouds and cranes · 1801 — 1870 · Yatsushiro Municipal Museum

This mizusashi (water container for tea ceremony) with inlay of organized lines representing a young pine tree is exemplary of the type of fine inlay applied to Yatsushiro wares during the 19th century. Agano Noguma (1795-1871) Kyoto Women's University, Lifestyle Design Laboratory (Google Arts + Culture)

This mizusashi (water container for tea ceremony) with inlay of organized lines representing a young pine tree is exemplary of the type of fine inlay applied to Yatsushiro wares during the 19th century. Agano Noguma (1795-1871) Kyoto Women's University, Lifestyle Design Laboratory (Google Arts + Culture)

The artist, while explaining the history of Yatsushiro pottery, brought out a large book of designs dating from the 1800s, that was filled with drawings on large sheets of washi / paper.

From NHK World TV / Design Talks · Hiroyuki Agani, a twelfth generation pottery artist

From NHK World TV / Design Talks · Hiroyuki Agani, a twelfth generation pottery artist

Washi paper custom design book from Japan in the 1800s showing Yatsushiro pottery orders

Washi paper custom design book from Japan in the 1800s showing Yatsushiro pottery orders

Many of the same designs are produced today, along with more contemporary designs inspired by these original patterns by younger generation artists.

Original butterfly design from the 1800s (NHK World TV)

Original butterfly design from the 1800s (NHK World TV)

Contemporary interpretation of design on Japanese Yatsushiro Ware (NHK World TV)

Contemporary interpretation of design on Japanese Yatsushiro Ware (NHK World TV)

Google Arts and Culture in Association with Kyoto Women's University has created a beautiful slide show on Yatsushiro Ware and featured the striking design sketch shown below on Japanese washi / paper (sometimes erroneously called "rice paper)

Order sheet for custom design illustrated on Japanese washi paper (from Kyoto Women's University)

Order sheet for custom design illustrated on Japanese washi paper (from Kyoto Women's University)

To watch the program on NHK World TV go to https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/vod/designtalksplus/20170413/. The segment on Yatsushiro begins around the 20:00 minute mark.

To see the Google Arts + Culture slideshow on Yatsushiro, go to https://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/beta/exhibit/EQIyhScSDRo6Jw