Tsuji Kyo (1930-2008) was one of the few pioneers who worked and excelled in the male-dominated, labor intensive ceramic-making world. Though as early as 1952, she graduated from women's college of Fine art, majored in western painting. The early education opportunities open for women were in the field of music, literature & western painting in Japan, and at the time, conventions for women were restrictive.
As early as 1961, her ceramic works were exhibited at one of the important venues, the Mitsukoshi Nihonbashi department store. Tsuji Kyo was consummated as a masterful potter, despite social suppression. Because of personal pressures in her professional life and sexist biases within the ceramic industry, she had to change her name from Kyoko to Kyo, therefore, at competitions, her female identity won't be revealed.
She was a mother of four: two boys and two girls. In 1996 I was honored enough to pick her up from JFK Airport, and hosted a one person show for her at Dal Ichi Arts. Nineteen years later, I met with her daughter in Tsuji Kyo's old house, Tsuji Kei, an established artist herself. I heard her mother's voice again. Tsuji Kyo sensei was almost grandma to me, supportive, and understanding, preparing a soaring voice for me. Over her lifetime, She certainly gave voice to many voiceless.
Kyo's works are primarily made of gritty Shigaraki clay, and wood fire outside of metropolitan Tokyo, Her works are functional, for daily use. All about the wholesome everyday beauty.