Before delving into the artistry of Hiroki Kanazawa, it's essential to understand the legacy of the Kanazawa family. Nestled in Amakusa city, Kumamoto prefecture, the Kanazawa family is renowned as a legendary ceramic dynasty with the longest history in the region.

Numerous local ceramists, including the esteemed Itaru Moriyama and Yasuo Tsujiguchi, honed their craft at the Kanazawa family’s company, setting the foundation for their own successful studios.

Yuya, Hiroki, and Naoki Kanazawa, brothers and the heirs to this illustrious tradition, represent the sixth generation poised to propel the family legacy forward. Each has already embarked on their own creative journey, establishing individual kilns and defining their unique artistic paths.

(Discover more on Naoki Kanazawa’s blog - Hiroki’s younger brother)

My fascination with Hiroki's creations began over a decade ago when I stumbled upon one of his vases in a local shop in my hometown of Kumamoto. Since then, I've avidly followed his work.

Our formal introduction took place at his family’s studio a few years back, shortly before I launched my own business, Yoka. There, I began showcasing his pieces, drawn to their distinct texture and artistic merit, which sets them apart from conventional ceramics. His works, to me, felt like touching art itself. I even jokingly asked Hiroki if he had fused leather with ceramics, given the unique feel of his bowls.

By day, Hiroki crafts traditional dinnerware in his family’s workshop. By night, he retreats to his studio, dedicating himself to his personal collection. He shared with me that the unique textures arise from experimental glaze mixtures, embodying his joy and passion for creation. Each piece is singular in its masculinity, with some evoking iron's strength and others mimicking leather-like texture. All are food-safe, designed to evolve with use, embracing the Wabi-sabi philosophy that beauty lies in imperfection and transience.

Hiroki’s wife, Yuko Shige, is also a talented ceramist in her own right, known for her vibrant and delightful creations. I look forward to introducing her works to you soon!

Every visit to my hometown of Kumamoto, Japan, feels like an annual reunion, especially when I'm there on a buying trip. It's always a joy to meet the Kanazawa family; their warm welcome truly feels like coming home.

They have a quaint café space in their showroom, adding to the charm. There's something special about choosing your cup and savoring their delicious hand-dripped coffee—it's a highlight of my trip every time!

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