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The Bear of Echizen

A "world of fire, a world all dark, totally red ..."

Kumano at shrine

Welcome to the home page of Kumano Kurouemon, a unique wood-fire art potter who toils in isolation in the snow country on the "back side" of Japan.

Kumano shaping a large vaseThis site is maintained by admirers of Kumano who believe his powerful works in clay stand out like volcanoes on the rim of the Japanese pottery tradition — distinctive, beautiful, challenging — and should be experienced by as many lovers of ceramics as possible worldwide.

Kumano's production is small and his pieces until fairly recently were rarely seen outside of Japan (see Writings links). However, a large solo exhibition was hosted by Germany's Keramikmuseum Westerwald in 2004–05, followed by a month-long workshop at Fachhochschule Koblenz in 2006, so at least some Europeans are getting to know the man and his work a little better.

Similarly, in the United States, a few years ago Kumano led a highly acclaimed workshop in Piedmont College (Athens, Georgia). He returned September 16–19, 2016, and held a workshop at Bridgwater State University (Bridgewater, Massachusetts), from September 21–23, 2016.

New Sale Pieces for Summer 2017

Due to their physical strain on him and his family, Kumano's firings are becoming more and more rare, something that is only natural as the Bear and his wife grow older. This April, however, Kumano did fire his unique anagama kiln — for the first time in over two years — and the strenuous endeavor was well justified. The firing produced numerous exceptional pieces, 19 of which he is offering us for this update:

Go to update Summer 2017

In addition to several truly outstanding tea bowls and sake cups, please note the variety of plates and spouted bowls, as well as the rare appearance of a cosmetic jar (ohaguro) vase. Also not to be missed is the Matsuzaka-shino shioge-style container. A large range of prices is represented: Sales Page.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Peter Ujlaki

Kumano, Peter, Kayoko
Inside Kumano's kiln after 2017 firing

Kumano, Peter, Kayoko
Kumano Kurouemon with grandchildren 2017

Kumano, Peter, Kayoko
Kumano Kurouemon, Peter Ujlaki, and Kumano Kyoko 2014


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