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伊部窯変耳付花入 W16.0cm D11.9cm H27.5cm

Sozan Kaneshige


Born in Ibu city, Bizen, Okayama as a third son of Baiyou Kaneshige (Makisaburou), who is a pottery of Bizen-ware
Worked as an assistant of his older brother Touyou Kanesige and studied under him.
Naohi Deguchi, third hierarch of Omoto (religion) Headquarters, had invited Sozan Kaneshige, and Sozan moved to Kameyama pottery workshop at Kameoka city in Kyoto from Touyou pottery workshop
Separated from Naohi and established his pottery workshop at Kakuzanyou of Omoto Headquarters in Ayabe city, Kyoto
Homecoming to Enzan, Nakaku, Okayama city, and made his climbing kiln there.
Completed firing Momoyama style Bizen-ware,“Hidasuki” by electoric kiln
Hold a personal exhibition which only displayed “Hidasuki” at Kokyuukyo, Nihonbashi, Tokyo
Received Sanyo Newspaper Cultural Award
Built Ushitenjin kiln next to the ruin of Nandai (Momoyama era)kiln in his hometown, Ibe
Was designated a holder of Important Intangible Cultural Property of Okayama
Received the award of Commissioner for Cultural Affairs by his contribution for the promotion of traditional culture
Received Okayama Cultural prize
The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette
Received Miki memorial award
Received Distinguished Service Award by Bizen City
Died of pneumonia(Aged 86)

Sozan Kaneshige (Shichirouzaemon) was born as the third son of Baiyou Kaneshige who is the head of Kanashige, one of the top six pottery families in Bizen. Baiyou was the person who should have inherited the tradition as the leading person of Saikubutsu(handiwork) of Bizen-ware which was becoming underground at that time. However Baiyou died when Shichirouzaemon was 7. Since then his older brother,Touyou Kaneshige looked after hin instead of their father.
Sozan had been studying to make pottery under Touyou who was tought by his father (Sozan) having been known as the master of Saikubutsu(handiwork) from his younger age.

In Touyou’s teaching method, it was quite hard that Sozan should have learnt some skills such as loading and firing on his own by experiences. Later, he achieved these skills to the high level as his older brother who was known as genius in the field completely trusted his skills. Sozan became one of the vital people in the revision of Bizen ware by Touyou.

In 1951, when he visited Headquarters of Omoto (the religion Kanashige family has believed for long time) ,Kameoka,Kyoto invited by Naohi Deguchi third hierarch of it, Naohi asked him to teach pottery directly and he agreed. In the present, a genuine pottery space workshop was built, cultural people such as pottery artists became to gather from various parts of Japan. Sozan, as one ceramic artist, kept training pottery, he begun to make his own works after he turned to 50.
In 1964, he left Kyoto where he had lived for 13 years and he went back home,Okayama. He started an authentic works as a pottery artist. Sozan had devoted himself into making brown-ware, especially duplicating the pattern named “Hidasuki” in Bizen-ware of Momoyama era. As the only job from his older brother, Touyou, he archived to create vivid pattern of “Hidasuki” without faults of quality by firing in the newest electronic kiln,not in an old fashioned wooden kiln,while keeping try and error endlessly.

In 1967, he held a personal exhibition which only displayed “Hidasuki” at Kokyuukyo, Nihonbashi, Tokyo. In 1970 and 1972, he was praised at the personal exhibitions at Mitsukoshi Nihonbashi. In 1967, he received Sanyo Newspaper Cultural Award. As you see, although Sozan has become the master of Bizen-ware, he constantly keeps caring about his motto, enjoying the benefit of fire,water and soil and always being thankful from bottom of his heart to taking a part in translating the tradition. His earnest personality makes beautiful and dignified brown-ware inspired so many teaist.