Kawakita Handeishi & Hironaga kiln
Handeishi is exceptional in that he started his career as an amateur, without the benefit of family connections or an
apprenticeship to a craftsman.
Born in Osaka in 1878 to a wealthy family, the young Handeishi showed an early interest in art. However he chose a different career path, becoming a bank director at the age of 25.
While climbing up the career ladder at the bank, Handeishi pursued his artistic studies, becoming acquainted with major figures
in the art world. In 1913 he made trips to China
and Korea, bringing back various types of clay.He is also reputed to have visited ancient kilns
to further his knowledge of traditional techniques and glazing methods.
He also devoted a lot of energy to the practicalities, procuring land (Chitose mountain)
in the city of Tsu (Mie pref.) and building his own climbing kiln. His first successful firing was in 1934.
Handeishi retired from the bank in 1942 and in 1946 moved his whole kiln from Chitose to its present location in Hase, setting up the Hironaga kiln
and handing down his knowledge to his apprentices.
Handeishi's died in 1963 but the Hironaga kiln is still very active , producing a variety of wares
using many different techniques. The majority of the pieces are traditional tea ware, created according to old-style methods and trusted
* Some of the pieces featured on this page are not signed. All the pieces regardless of whether or not they have marks, are guaranteed as
authentic Hironaga items.