The Intangible Cultural Treasure of the Gifu prefecture Hayashi Shotaro showcases a polychrome ash glaze on this vessel, that recalls the form of cut bamboo in this light piece. Perfect for the spring season, the pastel hues of the glaze takes on a wet appearance, as though recalling a light spring rain in a bamboo grove: The pale green gradates to sky blues and earthen ochre hues. The rectangular cavity cut at the lip of this piece recalls the use-value of bamboo in Japanese culture: the precise cuts of swords in Kendo practice; it’s function as a vessel to carry water in Zen Buddhist temples. This geometric aspect to the work also lends a modern feel to this traditional piece.
Though he was raised as a potter’s son, Hayashi Shotaro chose to pursue a life in business after high school. He eventually found a job with a company in Nagoya, but life as a “salary man” did not satisfy him and he returned to his hometown to study pottery under his brother. His innate talent quickly manifested itself: in 1968 he received the highest award at the Gifu Prefectural Art Exhibition and in 1971 he received the Governor’s Award at the Asahi Ceramic Exhibition for his strong yet sensitive blending of tradition and innovation.
Hayashi works in the tradition of Shino ware, first developed in Japan during the Momoyama period in the 16th century. His robust forms are complimented by a softness of surface that invites the viewer to relish the pleasures of the Shino technique.