Kyūwa Miwa: Master Ceramist with Soul of Clay

Kyūwa Miwa: Hagi Pottery Pillar

Kyūwa Miwa, also known as Miwa Kyūsetsu X, was a prominent Japanese master ceramicist born in 1895 and died in 1981. Within the rich heritage of the Hagi tradition, Kyūwa distinguished himself by his innovative experimentation with forms and textures, revolutionizing the ceramic aesthetics of his time.

His most iconic work, a rectangular-shaped Hagi water pitcher with rounded corners and partial lacquer lid, dates from the 1970s and reflects his mastery of ceramic handling and his ability to fuse tradition and innovation. Miwa was the tenth potter in the Miwa family to bear the Kyūsetsu name and created tea pieces that evoked the Momoyama period, a time when the aesthetics of tea flourished by taking a new direction.

In 1956, Miwa Kyūwa was designated as Intangible Cultural Property (often translated as Living National Treasure), a recognition of his significant contribution to contemporary Japanese ceramic art. In 1967, he retired and relinquished the title of Kyūsetsu X, adopting the name Kyūwa.

His legacy continues to inspire generations of ceramicists and his works are appreciated not only in Japan but around the world, as evidenced by the acquisition of one of his pieces by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where it is currently on display.

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