Ceramic Box with Senshi (paper cutting) Patterns, 2015; stoneware; h. 7 x dia. 11 7/8 in. (18 x 30 cm)


Yuki sarashi (雪晒しExposed Snow) , 2014; stoneware; h. 16 1/2 x w. 33 7/8 x d. 17 in. (42 x 86 x 43 cm)


Faceted Box with Small Patterns, 2014; stoneware; h. 5 1/2 x dia. 11 1/2 in. (13.5 x 29 cm)

YAMAJI Kazuo (b. 1949)

Yamaji Kazuo was born in Tokyo in 1949. As a young adult, his infatuation with the hippie culture in North America took him to Montreal, Canada where he worked at a Japanese restaurant. A year after arriving in Montreal, a chance encounter with a Japanese speaking Canadian ceramist changed his life. The ceramist had trained under the Living National Treasure, Hamada Shoji (1894 –1978), and in 1967, Yamaji started studying at the ceramist’s studio. He stayed there for five years and then returned to Japan in 1972.

After two years of training in Mashiko, he started his own kiln in Kasama, Ibaraki prefecture. In 1981 he moved with his family to Hiroshima where a job opportunity at a ranch awaited him. There, he divided his time between farming and making ceramics. One day he found textile stencils at a museum and became fascinated with them. In 1985 he moved back to Kasama, a rural area outside Tokyo, and started to incorporate stencil patterns onto his ceramic works. The stencil paper sheets he uses are made with persimmon tannin. His patterns are influenced by various sources, including the Japanese checker- board design used in everyday kimonos from the Edo Period, Islamic mosques, and Western cathedrals.

YAMAJI Kazuo (b. 1949) Exhibits

Selected Exhibitions

Asia Week, New York, US
SOFA Chicago, Illinois, US
Contemporary Ceramics Exhibition, Hagi Museum, Yamaguchi, Japan
Contemporary Ceramics Exhibition, Hagi Museum, Yamaguchi, Japan

Selected Public Collection

Museum of Ceramic Art, Sasayama, Hyogo, Japan; Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park, Shiga, Japan; Icheon World Ceramic Center, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea