Last Sunday, we had the honor of hosting a blow-out party for the super talented Tobe-yaki artist Asato Ikeda. Tobe (a small, picturesque town about 30 mins south of Matsuyama) is famous as being one of Japan’s premier historic pottery locations. Tobe-yaki pottery, with its white clay and blue patterns, is a nationally designated traditional craft in addition to being a prefectural intangible cultural asset. Thick, simple pieces with good durability are the staple of Tobe-yaki. Asato Ikeda (3rd generation potter) works in his family7s pottery company, Ryusen-gama.
You can easily see the evolution from the clean, elegant lines, and light blue enamel that are tradmarks of Ryusen, to the rougher, more abstract lines and variety of colors that Asato-san uses.
During the party, along with drinks, conversations and snakes, Asato-san suggested that we have a rokuro-live (live pottery throwing) event in our cafe area. It was a beautiful experience, with the crowd just mesmerized on how Asato-san could manipulate the pottery clay; bringing it up and down, forming shapes, cutting notches in it.
Definitely an inspiring event, I would really like to try my hand at throwing pottery now (in fact, Asato-san said he would teach me!! I’m holding him to it also).
As if the live pottery wasn’t enough, we also were able to host an amazing 3 piece band, led by the super talented Senkuro-san. Senkuro-san is a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist born and raised in Matsuyama and now residing in Tobe. He plays traditional folk music, both Japanese and international songs. He was playing with Kotomi (accordion/keys) and Kondo-kun (guitar), also amazing musicians in their own right.
The music and the pottery went so well together, really a great feeling throwout the evening. Quiet, but not slow- people were able to both talk/meet new people and to experience live art and music.
To cap off the event, we had a very special guest, Miyoshi-san, owner and operator of our favorite cafe, Dogo no Machiya . He brought over, a birthday burger for all to share. This this was huge, and absolutely delicious…