Tadaoki Hosokawa, who made a name for himself with numerous military exploits and built the foundation of the higo hosokawa clan. He is also known as “Sansai” in the world of tea ceremony, and is counted among Rikyu’s seven philosophers. He recruited Sonkai（japanese name：Kizo Agano）, who had been summoned for the bunroku-keicho war（1592-98）, and opened the kamanokuchi Kiln in agano, fukuchi-machi, tagawa-gun, fukuoka prefecture. This is the origin of agano ware.
Fukuchi mountain, which straddles buzen province（the hosokawa clan of the Kokura domain）and chikuzen province（the kuroda clan of the fukuoka domain), the “Uchigaiso kiln” was in operation following the “Eimanji-Takuma kiln” for takatori ware. The tranquil atmosphere of this place is sacred, and the scenery that seems to have changed little over 400 years spreads out before you. Akemi Ito works in tagawa city, fukuoka prefecture, which is not far from this historic village.
After studying under Takechika Arimitsu, continued to study on her own, gaining the kindness of many masters of the tea ceremony, and even receiving orders from museums. This is entirely due to the human nature of “Akemi Ito”. Partly as a collector who is well versed in ancient hizen ceramics, her high level of skill has been cultivated through a strong sense of inquiry into ancient ceramics and by throwing herself into works of the essence that have been handed down from ancient times.
Particular about using locally produced raw materials, and start by collecting potter’s clay. If the soil is different, the atmosphere and texture you are looking for will naturally be different. A sense of reverence for agano ware and takatori ware, a glimpse of unwavering feelings, and through a strict and honest work process that spares no time and effort, create materials that are convincing.
A vessel born from the competition of firing will change its expression and grow as it is used. At my home, I have Ito’s tableware on the table, and I can feel the simple kindness that can be said to be the beauty of use. It is the warmth and spirit that she possesses. Research around the ancient Korean kilns, in order to get closer to the ancient ceramics that he longs for, she has developed a wide range of styles such as korean pottery, karatsu ware, and porcelain. Agano ware and takatori ware are one of the most focused fields in recent years.
Akemi Ito enjoys her life to the fullest while cherishing the connections between people. As the name “Utsuwaya” suggests, her sincerity resides in her “Utsuwa”, which sincerely accepts the feelings of the user.
Born in tagawa city, fukuoka prefecture.
In 1992, studied the basics of pottery at Fukuoka Prefectural Tagawa Advanced Technical Training School.
In 1993, studied under Takechika Arimitsu.
In 1997, started making pottery in tagawa city, Fukuoka Prefecture.
Became a pottery instructor at the NHK Cultural Center（Kitakyushu）.
In 2005, became a pottery instructor at Kurate Ryutoku High School.
Held solo exhibitions in kyoto and tokyo, and has strong fans all over the country.
Photography, Text：Takashi Imabayashi