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Events - 04.05.2022

The Ceramics of Mino: 500 Years of Beauty and Innovation

Ramen bowl by Tadanori Yokoo  

© Hiroshi Tsujitani (Nacasa & Partners Inc.)


04.05.2022 (Tue.)


05:00 PM - 06:00 PM (PST)





Take Survey

The region of Mino, in the southern part of Gifu prefecture, has been known for its ceramics for many centuries. From the late 16th century, when some potters from the ancient ceramics center of Seto nearby settled in the region, ceramic production began to blossom, with wares such as Kiseto, Setoguro, Shino and Oribe ware highly favored for use in the tea ceremony. Later, in the 19th century, Mino potters began using porcelain clay to make housewares, and by the 20th century, the Mino kilns produced the greatest volume of ceramics in Japan. Today, the Ceramic Valley of Mino is a center of ceramic innovation in arenas as diverse as medicine and architecture.   

Professor Morgan Pitelka traces the history of traditional Mino ceramics, from the diverse and wonderful tea wares of the late 16th and early 17th century, through the 19th century and the launch of large-scale porcelain production, to the region’s present innovations.  

*To watch the video in full screen, please click on the image above, then click on the YouTube icon on the lower right-hand corner. 

Guest Speaker

Morgan Pitelka is Chair, Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies and Professor, Department of History, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

He received his B.A. in East Asian Studies with honors from Oberlin College and his Ph.D. in East Asian Studies from Princeton University. 

Read more.

Before joining the UNC faculty, he taught at Occidental College (2002-2010). His scholarship focuses on the history of late medieval and early modern Japan, with an emphasis on the samurai, tea culture, ceramics, cities, and material culture. His newest book is Reading Medieval Ruins: Urban Life and Destruction in Sixteenth-Century Japan (Cambridge University Press, 2022).

Prior to this, he has published six books: Japanese Tea Culture: Art, History, and Practice (2003), Handmade Culture: Raku Potters, Patrons, and Tea Practitioners in Japan (2005), What’s the Use of Art? Asian Visual and Material Culture in Context (2007, with Jan Mrazek), Spectacular Accumulation: Material Culture, Tokugawa Ieyasu, and Samurai Sociability (2016), Kyoto Visual Culture in the Early Edo and Meiji Periods: The Arts of Reinvention (2016, with Alice Tseng), and Letters from Japan’s Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries: The Correspondence of Warlords, Tea Masters, Zen Priests, and Aristocrats (2021, with Reiko Tanimura and Takashi Masuda). He serves as the coeditor of the Journal of Japanese Studies. 

Alternative text
Top view of ramen bowl by Tadanori Yokoo
Ramen spoon by Tadanori Yokoo

    Ⓒ Hiroshi Tsujitani (Nacasa & Partners Inc.)

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