This is the first book in a European language to make a comprehensive study of the life and works of the astonishingly versatile and accomplished Meiji potter, Miyagawa Kozan (1842 - 1916), also known by the art name of Makuzu Kozan, who was acclaimed as one of the greatest ceramic artists of the Meiji period. The Meiji period, after the opening of Japan to the West in the mid-nineteenth century, was a time of momentous change for Japanese society and Kozan's Makuzu workshop makes an ideal case study to examine the effects of these changes on the Japanese ceramic industry. This book tells the story of Kozan's Makuzu wares from their origins in a traditional workshop in Kyoto to their maturity in a prolific factory in the newly-opened port of Yokohama, where Kozan's ability to cater to the demands of a new Western export market and to incorporate new Western glaze techniques led to enormous success, both in Japan and abroad at the international exhibitions that flourished from the 1850s. Lavish illustrations highlight Kozan's remarkable and technical and artistic achievements, while ceramic marks and box inscriptions are analysed as a practical guide to dating Makuzu ware. Clare Pollard discusses the role of later generations of the Miyagawa family in the running of the workshop and relates developments in Makuzu ware to the work of other major potters of the era, both in Japan and in Europe and America. Incorporating contemporary sources (including previously unstudied archival material from the Makuzu workshop itself), recent research and the study of a large corpus of Makuzu wares in museums and private collections all over the world, the book examines the artistic, political, and commercial factors that influenced Kozan and his contemporaries as they strove to come to terms with shifting life-styles and changing attitudes to the arts, and moved towards the creation of a modern ceramic industry.
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... a superb study of Kozan and Meiji ceramics, a book that will undoubtedly serve as a reference for anyone interested in Makuzu Kozan, modern Japanese ceramics, and the institutions and events that informed Meiji-era material culture. ( Monumenta Nipponica)
The book is generously illustrated and well organized, with five useful appendices and a chronology. The subheadings are particularly helpful for quick navigation through the text. ( Monumenta Nipponica)
The reader will appreciate the subtlety with which Pollard has traced the vectors of influence that cut across nation, artistic media, and exhibition venue. ( Monumenta Nipponica)
In Master Potter of Meiji Japan, Clare Pollard has located Kozan's career within larger issues in Meiji ceramic arts, and in doing so, has given us a wealth of material that both explicates and transcends her nominal subject. ( Monumenta Nipponica)
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