Suda Seika-gama and Rosanjin

Suda Seika-gama and Rosanjin
In 1906, Suda Yosaburo who was also called Seika 1st and who had worked at Kutani Toko Honsha began Seika kiln. Seika 2nd and 3rd have operated the kiln continuously. Suda Seika produced many tablewares for Rosanjin. Seika kiln is still in operation and is managed today by Suda Seika 4th who is a good painter keeping the style of the old Kutani (ko-Kutani). He is specially good and quite famous for sometsuke. The kiln can be seen in Yamashiro village where Seika kiln and shop are located. Chefs all over Japan know this kiln's name.

Rosanjin visited Suda Seika-gama in 1915, he learned ceramics first time here. Rosanjin, then Fukuda Taikan stayed Yamanshiro to make store signs. Since then Rosanjin made 200,000 piece ceramics until his death.

Kitaoji Rosanjin (1883-1959) was one of Japan's most important 20th century ceramists. A largely self-taught artist known for his eccentric and cantankerous personality, Rosanjin was famous as a fine cook as well as a potter. He was married five times. Born in 1883 in the village of Kamigano north of Kyoto, Rosanjin achieved youthful success as a calligrapher, and earned his early living through calligraphy, the carving of seals and shop signs, and antique dealing. In 1921 he founded the Bishoku Club (Gourmet's Club), which became a private restaurant, and in 1925 Rosanjin opened the well-known Hoshigaoka Restaurant in Tokyo.

Rosanjin began working in clay in order to produce ceramics for his restaurant after the 1923 Tokyo earthquake destroyed its collection of antique wares, and he soon began to exhibit his own ceramic works. Rosanjin also became a scholar of ancient Japanese ceramics, publishing his research during the 1930s. Many important exhibitions of his ceramics were held during the 1950s, including a 1954 exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Rosanjin resided in a compound of traditional buildings with six kilns in Kita Kamakura; and here in 1952 Isamu Noguchi created ceramic sculpture and lived with his wife, film star Yamaguchi Yoshiko (Shirley). To the end of his life Rosanjin refused to be designated a Living National Treasure.