Kawai Kanjiro’s House


This is the house of Kawai Kanjiro, a legendary potter and a key figure in the mingei or Japanese folk art movement. His beautiful wooden townhouse has been preserved as a memorial run by his family. The building itself and the garden are wonderful, but you can also see here many of his works: ceramics, sculptures, and woodcarvings. His kilns are preserved at the back of the house. I was there back in September and took some 360 degree pictures which I shall share here as they give a good impression of how much there is to explore in the house. Just click on them to have a proper look around:

image Interior and Exterior Exterior & Interior

As for an analysis of his work, I shall leave that to another master. From Robert Yellin‘s Japanese Pottery Information Center:

“Kawai’s output was so tremendous that it almost seems as if some supernatural force was guiding him. The Buddhist term tariki refers to such a reliance on grace, and it appears that Kawai had embraced it.

When you become so absorbed in your work that beauty flows naturally then your work truly becomes a work of art,” he wrote in an essay titled “We Do Not Work Alone.” He continued, “Everything that is, is not. Everything is, yet at the same time, nothing is. I myself am the emptiest of all.”

In a Western sense this would most likely be perceived as a negative and pitiful comment, but in the East it is often the emptiness and the silence that are most important. Only when something is empty can it be filled. Kawai filled his spirit and works with tariki. The somewhat eccentric Kawai was an extraordinary being, like an elf working alone late into the night; many of his pieces are full of a beauty and mystery that one can only describe as otherworldliness…”
READ MORE AT: http://www.e-yakimono.net/html/kawaikanjiro.html

569 Kanei-cho, Gojozaka
Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-city
Kyoto 605-0875
TEL: 075-561-3585
Open: 10:00 – 17:00
Closed: Monday, Summer Holidays, New Year’s Holiday
Visit the Museum site for a map: http://www.kanjiro.jp/access/

See also: http://www.japanesepottery.com/

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