September 4, 2015 I visited Daigo Kato, who is demonstrating his work at Aoyama Square.
Akatsu ware master: Daigo Kato
Akatsu ware is a pottery that has been baked since the Nara period (around the 700s). It is said that akatsu ware developed because of the gathering of craftsmen by Oda Nobunaga during the Azuchi-Momoyama period. After that, the Industrial Revolution occurred, and Akatsu ware seems to have evolved further and has reached the present day.
Akatsu ware has been passed down endlessly as a family business
27th generation as a family business, third generation as Rokubei
Akatsu ware has been close to me since I was a child, partly because my house originally made Akatsu ware.
The first thing that touched the potter’s potter’s house was not the home, but the potter’s potter’s experience as part of the class when he was in elementary school. Kato says that parents didn’t let their children touch because the potter’s potter’s house is used for work.
After I got my car license…
When I was able to get a car license, I was able to act freely even in the middle of the night, so I often sneaked into my house workshop with my friends and turned the potter’s wheel. When his parents find him, he gets angry, so he sneaked in at 12 or 1 o’clock in the middle of the night and used it secretly, cleaned clean so that it wouldn’t be leaked, and left the workshop several times.
Your parents didn’t say that they especially want you to take over the family business, but if you don’t say it, it may be your child who cares if you don’t say it. Mr. Kato came to go on the path of pottery when he noticed.
Until now, it was a division of labor system, but from now on…
Mr. Kato is in charge of glaze.
Akatsu ware to which Mr. Kato belongs has been doing pottery by division of labor for a long time.
For example, people who turn potter’s potter’s, glaze, bake, etc. By performing one process professionally, we have refined our technology.
Mr. Kato was the second son, and at first he left Akatsu ware and went under a person who was doing Shimizu ware. At that time, I learned a potter’s- lo. However, about three years after I started Kiyomizu ware, my father collapsed, so I returned to my parents’ home.
Because the eldest son was in charge of the glaze, Mr. Kato was initially called “the person who turns the potter’s potter’s ring”. However, because the industry is tough, my brother will go out of this world. Mr. Kato took over Rokubei, and he was in charge of glaze.
But from now on…
There are now 10 members of Akatsu ware, making it difficult to continue the division of labor system. In the old-fashioned way, it seems that it was difficult to live in the present.
Until now, instead of craftsmen going to the sales themselves, wholesalers are in between, and it was an attitude to make what was requested from there. However, from now on, it seems that it will change to a style of making original works more and more before receiving orders and doing sales on their own feet.
Mr. Kato originally took charge of the glaze after turning the potter’s hand, so he said that even if the division of labor system was lost, he did not have a hard time and was lucky.
Kato’s akatsu ware is…
When I was doing a production demonstration, I asked Mr. Kato what he was good at making, and he replied, “I’ll make anything.”
For Mr. Kato, Akatsu ware is not about sticking to one form, but to quickly create what is required.
As a work of the entrance of pottery because it can be easily picked up
Finally, what kind of things do you want to make from now on? When I heard that,
He said, “I want to create something that many people can feel free to use.”
Mr. Kato has a slightly different nature, while many people who are said to be so-called “craftsmen” make expensive things with the aim of creating beautiful things and whether they can make masterpieces that can be left behind for the next generation.
“Rather than the high one, it is in the price range that everyone can get,
It’s something that many people want to pick up in their hands.
And I want to make Akatsu ware that catches the trends that people today want and sells.
But then, is it like a salaried man?”
You laughed and said, but the pottery such as plates and cups that people today seek is a work of people who have a sense like Mr. Kato, aren’t they?
I think that Mr. Kato’s work will make sense as an entrance to people who were not very interested in pottery, which is trendy and more affordable and easy to use.
*Mr. Kato’s work is on display until September 9th at the special exhibition “Akatsu Ware Jujin Exhibition”.