The First Chuemon’ Okugawa

初代 奥川忠右エ門Let me introduce my pottery master, the First
Chuemon Okugawa, who is a father in law.

Raw material of ceramics were discovered in 1616 at Arita town in Saga Prefecture, and it led to prosperity as a “town of porcelain, Arita” with the times.
There was an outstanding potter in the long history of Arita.
He is the very person recognized as an Intangible Cultural Property(Living National Treasure)in the field of ceramics molding large piece.
He used techniques called “potter’s wheel technique” which need advanced skills and ceramists staked their life to maintain from the Edo through the Meji era.

Arita ware described the beauties of nature gorgeously, but he fully showed a potter’s wheel technology said to be the skill of God and established “work of the white porcelain” without drawing any desgign for the first time.
He created his art only with beauty of the form and this high technique overturned common sense of previous Arita and received many evaluations later.
There was a craftsman said to be “an artisan” having each position for Arita ware making, and nobody considered that he made a white porcelain work only in the technique of the potter’s wheel at that time.

When Chuemon submitted to his work for exhibitions, that was considered to be a torso and excluded from the target of the competition. This episode really tells that “work of white porcelain” was not recognized.

He molded not only a large vase more than 2 meters in height but also a delicate small ones without the least difference using the kick wheel. He loved soil and left the proof that he loved porcelain in his works and finished his life.

Many skills that Chuemon left is surely handed down in here Arita and still grows in the heart of craftsman who inherited it over the times.