Souls of Tokoname

Following last October’s event at Soma san’s The Hangar (see my post “Ecosystem”), I went to pay a visit to the artists: the kura brewing Hakurou (Sawada shuzou), the potter Koichi Ohara, installed about two hundred meters away from the kura.

Located South of Nagoya in the Chita peninsula, Tokoname city is well known ceramic centre, and because of its proximity to the sea, it was a large sake producer as well, aiming at competing with Nada (Hyogo Prefecture) for sake exports to Edo.

Beyond its rich history, many features make a visit to Tokoname and its people very attractive: the charm of Hakurou, managed by a young woman, with its beautiful and rare wooden koshiki (for rice steaming) dressed with a straw skirt (“komo”), conserving heat while steamed rice is shovelled away. Then Ohara san welcomed me privately at his home&studio, where he carefully blends clay and other earths. Toshifumi Sugie is the happy owner of Morrina, a gallery located in the historical part of town, where ceramic is everywhere, and an enthusiastic promoter of his town and its culture. See you again soon!


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