Hamada Shoji was in the initial group of the first four ceramicists to be designated Living National Treasure in 1955, in his case for the preservation of mingei ceramics. Hamada needs little introduction as he, and Kawai Kanjiro, became the prime exponents of the mingei tradition that has been both popular and influential inside and outside Japan. Indeed, it is hard to look at post-1945 ceramics without seeing the influence they exerted. Nonetheless Hamada’s work remains significant and he is the true master of form and decoration. The myriad copies of his forms not only attest to his influence but also emphasize just what a master of proportion he was for there is a balance in his work and a harmony of form and decoration that sets it apart.