Artist: Hamada Shoji (1894-1978)
Historical period(s)
Showa era, ca. 1950
Stoneware with iron and rice-husk ash glazes
H x Diam: 15.7 x 48.9 cm (6 3/16 x 19 1/4 in)
Japan, Tochigi prefecture, Mashiko
Credit Line
Purchase — Smithsonian Unrestricted Trust Funds
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Ceramic, Vessel


Japan, Showa era (1926 - 1989), stoneware
Provenance research underway.

As a boy in Tokyo, Hamada Shoji chose a career in art after reading the writings of the French Impressionist painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919). Upon graduating from the Ceramics division of Tokyo Technical Institute, Hamada worked in Saint Ives, Cornwall, with the prominent English ceramist Bernard Leach (1887-1979). In 1924, Hamada settled in Mashiko, a town east of Tokyo that produced utilitarian pottery. There he reassembled several old farmhouses to create the idealized rural setting in which he would develop unique interpretations of traditional country pottery forms. This bowl represents the largest form that Hamada produced regularly. He decorated such bowls by ladling glazes of contrasting colors over the inner surface to form large, simple patterns. During firing in the wood-burning kiln, the glazes melted together to create subtle gradations of color.

Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Whistler's Neighborhood
Google Cultural Institute
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