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Mutsuo Yanagihara

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Mutsuo Yanagihara
Contemporary Ceramist
Japanese, b. 1934
Mutsuo Yanagihara was born in 1934, the second son in a family of Shikoku Island doctors. As a child Yanagihara was profoundly influenced by "national treasure" Kenkichi Tomimoto. He was adopted as Tomimoto's apprentice in the mid 1950s, and worked with Tomimoto until his death in 1965. Tomimoto was trained as an architect but gained a reputation as a ceramist in western Japan, and had a long working relationship with Shoji Hamada, Bernard Leach and Kanjiro Kawai. Under Tomimoto at the Kyoto Fine Arts University Yanagihara earned a master's degree in ceramic sculpture. For almost ten years following graduation the potter worked under the strict Japanese system of master and student, producing precise pots for Tomimoto to decorate with his highly geometric overglaze designs, though he still produced his own sculptural forms on the side, in a corner of the shop. Yanagihara became a faculty member at Kyoto Fine Arts University and taught at the University of Washington in Seattle for two years (1966-1968) under a Fullbright grant. He taught at Alfred University in New York from 1970-1971, and at Scripps College in 1974. Yanagihara continues to live and teach in Kyoto, with frequent visits to the U.S.

Artist Objects

Bottle 74.3.1

Jar with Lid L78.1.273 a, b

Vase L87.1.31

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