Seito Tamura

1980 Born in Komatsu City, Ishikawa Prefecture

2004 Graduated from University of Tsukuba, Faculty of International and
         Comprehensive Studies

    Studied under Keisei Tamura, the third generation of brush calligrapher

2007 Completed the practical training course at the Ishikawa Kutani-yaki
         Technical Institute

2010 Opened a studio in Komatsu City, Ishikawa Prefecture


About Kutani brushstrokes Saiji

The Kutani brushstrokes Saiji technique is a technique for painting classical literature, mainly waka poems, on porcelain with an ultra-fine brush. Since the Meiji period, this technique has developed uniquely in the southern region of Ishikawa Prefecture as an expression that matches the delicate painting of Kutani-yaki porcelain. It has been handed down in the Tamura family for more than a century as a technique passed down from one generation to the next.

The fine characters are painted with a glaze made from manganese and fired at about 800 degrees Celsius. It is difficult to draw tiny characters using a viscous glaze, and it takes many years to master the technique. The work of drawing fine characters is done with the naked eye while maintaining balance throughout the painting on the three-dimensional, curved surface of the unglazed porcelain. When drawing on the inside of a vessel, she uses a different stroke order than usual, for example, drawing from the bottom up. While devising a variety of unique techniques, the artist aims to express the characters in a way that is both extremely small and beautiful as calligraphy.

The history of Kutani-yaki dates back to the early Edo period, when pottery stone, the raw material for porcelain, was produced in Kutani Village, Enuma County, Kaga Province. Toshiharu Maeda, who ruled the Daishoji Domain in the southwestern part of Kaga Province, was also a tea master, and he decided to use this pottery stone to produce porcelain as a product of his domain.

He sent his retainer Saijiro Goto to Arita in Hizen Province, an advanced area of porcelain production, to learn pottery making techniques. After completing his training, Saijiro Goto opened a kiln in Kutani Village around 1655 and began to produce porcelain in overglaze enamels.