Setsurei: The Art of Miwa Kyusetsu XIII (Kazuhiko)

August 8, 2023
Setsurei: The Art of Miwa Kyusetsu XIII (Kazuhiko)


遠山に 日の当たりたる 枯野かな

Toh-yama ni/ Hi no atari taru/ Kareno kana

The sun shines / On distant mountains; / Withered field


- Takahama Kyoshi 高浜 虚子(清)


This poem by the student of Masaoka Shiki and Showa period poet Takahama Kyoshi describes a scene of a bright winter sun shining on a distant mountain. Brilliant, but cold. A withered field foregrounds the image. 



This piece by Miwa Kyusetsu XIII (Kazuhiko) is titled “Setsurei 雪嶺”, which means a summit covered with snow. It captures the scale of a mountain scape. In the past, he has described the vivid awe of seeing “El Capitan”, a huge granite monolith over 900 meter high, seen from the Yosemite Valley in California USA. The area, he stated, represents a place filled with water- a place where life is born. Contrary to the reference to a withered field in Takahama's poetry, Miwa's inspiration- the grand national park of the United States- is teeming with life. On the other hand, Takahama's image of a dazzling ray of sun shining upon a mountain ridge, blinding the beholder with it's intense light is apt.


The celebrated potter has taken inspiration from the grandeur of nature, expressing it on a truly grand scale within the universe of tea ceramics. 


Miwa Kazuhiko is the third son of National Living Treasure Kyūsetsu XI (1910-2012) and brother of Ryōsaku (b. 1940). As a teenager, he was inspired by Peter Voulkos, and studied at the San Francisco Art Institute. It was during this time that he encountered stunning natural scenery such as the grand El Capitan. He assumed the family title of Miwa Kyusetsu in 2019, following his brother Ryosaku's retirement.


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Kristie Lui

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