Tokoname green ash glaze, Oribe style
Ōsako Mikio (1940-1995)
60 x 35.5 x 5(h) cm
Tomobako : Kaiyuu chouhouzara (Ash glaze rectangular plate) Mikio Saku (Made by Mikio)
Metropolitan Museum of Art (M.E.T); New York;
National Museum of Modern Art (MOMAT), Tokyo
First Prize at International Ceramics Exhibition in Vallauris (France), 1982
Ōsako Mikio is one of the best 20th century Tokoname potters. His work has simple and deep grace and shows some of the best ash-glazing that Tokoname has ever offered. Ōsako Mikio arrived at ceramics late in life, starting to study with Ezaki Issei at the Tokonane Ceramic Research Center in 1968 and staying with his teacher until he built his first kiln in 1982. Known for his yakishime and ash glazed pottery, Ōsako won a number of prestigious awards including the First Prize at the International Ceramic Exhibition in Vallauris in 1982.
His profound understanding of wood firing, post firing and pottery in general was exceptional and his forms and surfaces are mature beyond his years of experience. A fitting quote by Dr. Frederick Baekeland from the catalogue Modern Japanese Ceramics in American Collections, sums up the true nature of the potter and his pots; “The strong, conventional potting and rich sobriety of Ōsako’s ceramics appeal to the modern taste and accords well with the aesthetic canons of the tea ceremony.”
Together with his teacher Ezaki Issei and fellow student Takeuchi Kimiaki, Ōsako Mikio ushered in a rebirth of medieval Tokoname styled pottery, re-establishing the forgot tradition. The trio borrowed from the past to re-establish a contemporary Tokoname, the oldest of the six ancient kiln sites, Rokuyo-gama. Using cues from old Sueki wares, Sanage-yaki (glazed medieval pottery) and the yakishime pottery fired in large O-gama kiln which fired to 1300 degrees c., Ōsako Mikio carved out a vital niche in Tokoname pottery.