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Mitsuhiko Hasebe

[Fusajirō]

(b Kyoto, March 23, 1883; d Kanagawa, Dec 21, 1959).

Japanese potter, calligrapher and medallist. At an early age he taught himself seal-carving and calligraphy, for which he won a prize in 1904; soon after he became a commercial calligrapher and medallist. In 1915 he had his first experience of decorating pottery at a kiln in the district of Hokuriku. In 1919 he opened an art shop in Tokyo, and in 1920 he founded the Gourmet’s Club on the second floor of the store, serving food in traditional ceramic vessels that he had himself collected. Kitaōji soon began to produce his own pottery, creating forms drawn from studying the vessels that he used for his cuisine. In 1925 he opened the Gourmet’s Club Hoshigaoka Restaurant in Tokyo. In 1926 he established a studio and kiln known as Hoshigaokayō in Kita Kamakura. He often surpassed the classical forms on which his works were based, becoming well known for his simple but original designs. He used red enamels and gold in his work and was influenced by blue-and-white wares and coloured porcelain from the Ming period (...