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  • Place of origin:

    Mashiko (made)

  • Date:

    1972 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Hamada, Shoji, born 1894 - died 1978 (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Stoneware, press-moulded, painted and glazed

  • Credit Line:

    Given by the potter

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Ceramics, Room 137, The Curtain Foundation Gallery, case 23, shelf 4

Hamada Shoji (1894-1978) was one of the leading potters of the Japanese Mingei (Folk Craft) movement. He was closely associated both with Yanagi Soetsu (1889-1961), the philosopher-critic on whose theories the movement was founded, and the pioneer English studio potter Bernard Leach (1887-1979), whom he helped establish the Leach Pottery in St Ives, Cornwall, during the early 1920s.

The Mingei movement developed in early twentieth-century Japan as a social and aesthetic crusade. It held ideas in common with the English Arts and Crafts theorists John Ruskin and William Morris about the value of hand-work and the negative effects of industrialisation and mass production. It actively sought to save and revive Japanese folk-craft traditions, which were becoming sidelined due to the forces of modernisation and urbanisation, and was part of a broader cultural movment in which Japan sought to articulate and assert a sense of national identity in the face of burgeoning westernisation.

Physical description

A flat-based square dish with sides spreading part-way and then angled more acutely to the rim; heavily potted, and standing on a low, flattened square foot. Press-moulded.

Greyish stoneware, the sides covered in and outside with a thick and lustrous rust-brown glaze and having painted or trailed round the inside four bold strokes of copper-green, with a simple plant motif painted on the plain glaze covering the centre.

(Box: With box, inscribed inside lid; 'Persimmon glaze with green cross decoration, iron-decorated square dish; Shoji; Sho'; paper sticker on base with number '350'.)

Place of Origin

Mashiko (made)


1972 (made)


Hamada, Shoji, born 1894 - died 1978 (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Stoneware, press-moulded, painted and glazed


Depth: 31.8 cm, Height: 7.6 cm, Width: 31.5 cm

Object history note

Presented to the Museum by the potter on the occasion of the Prime Minister's visit to Japan in 1972.

Descriptive line

Square dish, stoneware with brown glaze and painted and trailed designs in green and brown, made by Hamada Shoji, Japan (Mashiko), 1972.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

International Exhibition of Ceramics, V & A Museum (London, 1972), no 1.
'Retrospective exhibition of Shoji Hamada', National Museum of Modern Art, (Tokyo, 1977)

Labels and date

Square dish
Stoneware with brown glaze and painted and trailed designs in green and brown.
By Hamada Shoji JAPANESE; 1972 Given by the potter FE.1-1973 [as at 2005]

Production Note

Artist: Hamada Shoji (1894 - 1978)
Biographical reference: Laurance P. Roberts 'Dictionary of Japanese artists' (Tokyo/New York, 1976), p.38; Gisela Jahn and Anette Petersen-Brandhorst, 'Erde und Feuer' Deutsches Museum (Munich, 1984), pp.198-199




Painted; Glazed; Moulded

Subjects depicted



Ceramics; Stoneware


East Asia Collection

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