Okabe Mineo (1919-1990) was born into a family trading in the pottery tool in Seto City, Aichi Prefecture, Japan. His father, Katō Tōkurō (1898-1985) was a major potter renowned for having revived the classic ceramic styles from the Momoyama period (1573-1603). He learnt pottery techniques first-hand helping his family business. After the end of the WWII he decided to devote his life to pottery. He developed his repertoire of traditional styles such as Seto wares including Oribe, Shino and Kiseto (Yellow Seto) as well as ash glazed or iron glazed pottery. Among others the most dynamic and boldest works were a series of his Jōmon pots of Oribe and Shino wares inspired by Jōmon pottery of ancient Japan applying rope pattern to accentuate the pot texture and bottle shaped pots with amber or ash glaze, receiving much acclaim in various exhibitions. In his late years, he dedicated himself to produce celadon wares, starting from mastery of ash glaze followed by studying Chinese celadon techniques of Song Dynasty and managed to bring them to perfection. His celadon stoneware named Funseiji (blue crackled celadon) or Suiseiji (green crackled celadon) are both endowed with a velvety textural beauty. His yellow crackled celadon, Beishokuseiji, was considered as a revival of Guan ware or Longquan celadon of Song Dynasty (960-1279) China, by which Mineo’s unique celadon world reached to its highest sophistication.

Back to Top

Okabe Mineo