Toshimichi Kato

Toshimichi Kato

Toshimichi Kato (1958–2019) was born into a family-run ceramic studio, Oujigama, founded in the mid-Edo period (1603–1867) in Seto, Aichi. The family’s output, until 1968, was primarily of suribachi cooking mortars, fired in a traditional 14-tier climbing kiln (Noborigama).

After graduating from Tama Art University in Tokyo in 1981, Kato trained in ceramics in Tokyo and Kyoto for three years, before returning to work for the kiln, now a heavy oil format kiln, under his father. Kato took charge of the kiln in the early 1990s, expanding its production to include teaware, tableware, and other traditional ceramics.

While managing the commercial kiln, Kato maintained an individual practice centered around vases. One of his primary inspirations was the form of the Calabash bottle gourd, an integral object in the history of vessels in the country, and an auspicious object in its present-day culture. Kato’s work has previously been shown at institutions and received awards at exhibitions including The Museum of Modern Art, Saitama; Toyota Municipal Museum of Art; and The Kyoto Japan Fine Arts Exhibition.

The Shop is honored to present Kato’s vases for the first time in the United States. For more information on currently available works, please email

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