Hagi ware potter (Hagi, Yamaguchi Prefecture) Zen-emon Sakakura
Zenemon Sakakura is the tenth hereditary potter of the Sakakura kiln. In operation since the Edo period (1603–1868), the kiln closed down in the days of Zenemon’s grandfather but was revived by Zenemon in 2000.
Zenemon studied pottery at the Nagato Sonose Pottery Workshops of Yamaguchi Prefecture, one-time purveyors to the Imperial household, and apprenticed in Gifu Prefecture, where he developed skills not only in pottery but in also in modeling. His delicately colored works are characterized by avant-garde touches unlike any other, yet have a refined air that echoes skills passed down over the centuries.
“I am proud that by reviving this kiln I have been able to reconnect with the tradition of my forbears,” says Sakakura. “The clay and the glazes that coalesce to create Hagi ware, the changes the pieces undergo when they are fired and the profundity of the process never cease to amaze me, and I hope this feeling is communicated through my pieces. In my works I try to bring out the brightness of the colors.” At Happo-en, sake lovers can discover new ways of enjoying their favorite drink using cups and flasks from the Sakakura kiln.