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Friday, Feb. 11, 2005

OF NOTE

Masterpieces of tenmoku pottery

Kyoto potter Moriyasu Kimura (1935-) is a tenmoku artist par excellence, and his stunning works are the epitome of this very difficult ceramic style. To celebrate his 70th birthday, a large exhibition is being held in Osaka at Nanba Takashimaya until Feb. 15., Nanba Takashimaya 6F, 5-1-5, Chuo-ku, Osaka, (06) 6361-1101.

Tenmoku is the Japanese word for a type of tea bowl first produced in China during the Song Dynasty (960-1279). In the 14th century, tenmoku wares made at kilns in Fujian Province were brought back to Japan by Japanese Buddhist monks. The Ashikaga shoguns held tenmoku and seiji (celadon) in the greatest esteem, and this reverence reached its peak during the reign of Ashikaga Yoshimasa (1369-1395), the eighth shogun.

Kimura's tenmoku draws inspiration from the ancient wares, yet he has also created his own styles.



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