Tatsuzo Shimaoka as a young man, circa 1938, in his military uniform, is inducted and assigned to duty in Burma during WWII.

Tatsuzo Shimaoka and Shoji Hamada, circa 1974.

Tatsuzo Shimaoka, with his wife, daughter Yoshiko (below), son Ryuta, and his father, circa 1955.

 Tatsuzo Shimaoka with his father, and first two children, circa 1955.

Tatsuzo Shimaoka, with grandson, at the wheel, 1979.

 Mr. Shimaoka's work, showing jomon zogan, rope impression with slip inlay.

Inlay process showing rope impression, stamped impressions added, first of two layers of slip brushed on, trimming of the slip when leather hard.

Photos circa 1978


Following text by Tatsuzo Shimaoka, from the foreword in his exhibition catalogue at Matsuya Department Store, Tokyo, November 1998:

"At the age of nineteen, I entered the Ceramics Department at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. I had decided to become a potter the year before, when I visited the Japan Folk Crafts Museum in Tokyo. Soon afterward, I went to Mashiko to visit the potter Shoji Hamada. Thankfully, he agreed to admit me as his apprentice after graduation. Upon Hamada's recommendation, I began my training at the wheel.

During World War II, I was sent to Burma (present Myanmar). By the time I returned to Japan and to my studies under Hamada, I was twenty-six years old. Thus, excluding my time away during the war, I have been making pottery for a total of fifty-five years. The fact that someone with such limited abilities as myself has been able to spend over half a century at this profession is due, first, to my encounter with Mingei, or Folk Art; second, to my good fortune in being allowed to study under the truly great master Shoji Hamada; and third, to the fact that I have been able to reside in the excellent environment of Mashiko.

That I discovered the technique of rope-impressed inlay, which so suits my sensibilities, and that I have been able to work primarily cooperatively over the years without tiring of the profession is due to the unflagging support of my family, the artisans in my workshop, and my students. More than anything, I want to convey my deepest gratitude to them and the many others who have offered deep understanding, affection, and warm encouragement for me and my work for so many years. As I approach my eightieth year of life, I hope to stay in good health and continue to deepen my skills as a potter."


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This Page Was Last Updated on December 02, 2016