Kondo Yuzo Ceramics

Kondo Yuzo, portrait, close-up
Meiji 35
Born as the third child Shohei, his father, and mother Chizuru on February 8 at the Kiyomizu temple area. His grandfather was Kondo Shoshin (1816–58), who was known as a monk-warrior at Kiyomizu-dera Temple.
Taisho 3 (Age 12)
Graduated from Yasui Elementary School and completed the Kyoto Municipal General Advanced Technical Ceramic School and became a staff member.
Taisho 6 (Age 15)
Completed a course in the pottery wheel at the training facility at the Kyoto Ceramics Laboratory.
Taisho 10 (Age 19)
Became an assistant to Tomimoto Kenkichi.
Taisho 13 (Age 22)
After spending three years as Tomimoto Kenkichi's assistant, he established a studio at Kiyomizu in Kyoto.
Taisho 15 (Age 24)
Married to Nakajima Mitsuko.
Showa 3 (Age 26)
Exhibited the "Kuresu Azamimon Kakitori Vase" at the Ninth Tei Exhibition and won the show award.
He went on to receive the award 13 times in a row.
Showa 4 (Age 27)
Received the award with Dariyamon-Kuresu Vase at the 10th Tei Exhibition.
Showa 14 (Age 37)
Received the highest honours at the Third Bunten Exhibition.
Showa 25 (Age 48)
Became the judge of the Sixth Nitten Exhibition.
Showa 28 (Age 51)
Became assistant professor at The Kyoto City Fine Art University.
Showa 31 (Age 54)
Received the show award at the Third Traditional Japanese Craft Exhibition.
Showa 33 (Age 56)
Became a professor at The Kyoto City Fine Art University.
Showa 40 (Age 63)
Became the president of The Kyoto City Fine Art University.
Showa 42 (Age 65)
Stayed in the village of Laresin, Iran and made ceramics using the local kiln and materials.
Showa 45 (Age 68)
Received the Medal of Honor with Purple Ribbon.
Showa 48 (Age 71)
Awarded the Order of the Sacred Treasure.
Showa 49 (Age 72)
Received the award of the Person of Cultural Merit by the city of Kyoto.
Showa 50 (Age 73)
Completed Umesometsuke Ozara (the Large Plate) in May at Arita, Kyushu.
Showa 52 (Age 75)
Designated as Valuable Living National Treasure for his techniques in sometsuke (blue and white) ceramics.
Showa 55 (Age 78)
Received the Blue Ribbon Award in October.
Showa 58 (Age 81)
Exhibition: "National Treasure, Yuzo Kondo, In pursuit of Mt. Fuji” was held in May and June.
Showa 59 (Age 82)
Exhibition: "The Essence of Modern Ceramic Art by Yuzo Kondo and his family" was held.
Showa 60 (Age 83)
Passed away on February 25th.

Yuzo’s career spans over seven decades of exploration using a variety of techniques since his early period, which earned him a place at the important Tei and Bunten exhibitions. Since the mid 1950s his sometsuke (dyed) works have been featured at Japanese traditional craft exhibitions. His motifs, painted on the ceramics in blue glaze, were taken from his studio garden view—the plum, pomegranate and thistle.

Later in his career he produced new works prolifically like the magnificent Mt. Fuji vase over-glazed in red and gold. In 1975 he endeavoured to create (at that time) the world’s largest plate with a diameter of 126 cm and weighing over 100 kg, using the plum motif in sometsuke. The Large Plate is featured in the showcase window of the current museum.

 

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