In the heart of Japan’s ceramics country, there exists a small, almost magical world where tradition and artistry blend seamlessly with nature. In Amakusa islands, Naoki Kanazawa create his one-of-a-kind ceramic pieces, capturing the essence of the ocean and earth that surrounds their studio.

Naoki, the third son of the renowned Kanazawa family of ceramicists (check out his brother Hiroki Kanazawa's blog), adds a unique touch to their creations.

My annual visit to their workshop is not just about securing unique pieces of pottery for Yoka; it’s about reconnecting with the heart and soul behind the creations, immersing myself in the culture and tradition that breathes life into their work.

Last year’s visit left me empty-handed. Naoki's unique pieces were in such demand that I wasn't able to acquire any for our collection. However, this year held a different promise. Naoki had created some of his latest creations for our reunion, ensuring that the long-awaited trip would be fruitful and rewarding.

Meeting the creative pair, including their charming cat Mugi, is always a delightful experience!

Our reunions are incomplete without the ritual of sharing matcha tea with Naoki's wife, Sachi on their Engawa, overlooking the gardens that inspire much of their work. I particularly cherish tea times on their Engawa, reminiscent of a Japanese porch or sunroom, providing a calming atmosphere.

It’s during these cherished moments that we exchange stories.

Tea time with Sachi is special, especially when she lets me choose which matcha bowl to use, enhancing the experience.

Enjoying the time with Mugi, the cat, is always a pleasure.

Mugi, you're a lucky cat! Your bowls are amazing...!

Sachi showed me their quaint "forest" area in the front yard, a nurturing ground for their ceramics.

Watching each ceramic piece evolve and grow brings Sachi great joy. Some pieces have a significant amount of moss, enhancing their depth and character.

Spending time in their combined house and studio offers a tranquil and refreshing escape.

Naoki's artwork is gaining recognition, and he's busily crafting more pieces for shops and galleries throughout Japan.

Their dreamy kitchen cabinet captivates me; I dream of filling my own cabinet with their exquisite pieces..!

Naoki's work is a reflection of continual evolution. No two visits have revealed the same styles or colors —stunning blues, deep greens, and earthy tones that spoke of the Amakusa ocean’s depth and mystery. Each piece, distinct in its form and composition, was a narrative in itself—a story of the earth, water, and plants that had given birth to it.

Every bowl, cup, and plate carries within it a piece of Amakusa, a slice of the Kanazawas’ lives, and a testament to the mastery of their craft. More importantly, they serve as bridges—connecting people, cultures, and hearts in a celebration of beauty, craftsmanship, and passion. I hope you to experience the magic of the Kanazawas’ creations.

Until the next reunion, I hold onto the memories of our matcha moments, the laughter we shared, the bond of friendship, and the unending joy of discovery.


"Matane~!" - Farewell! Looking forward to our next meeting!

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