top of page

Sixth Generation Mizuno Hanjiro and Mingei

Hanjiro VI studied law at university in Tokyo, but in 1945 he returned to Seto in response to the demand for daily utensils after the end of World War II.

From around 1955, however, the materials used to manufacture daily utensils began to shift from ceramic and lacquerware to aluminum and plastic. In this time of transition and uncertainty, Hanjiro found comfort in the philosophy of mingei, which had interested him during his student years.

After he became friends with some of the mingei movement’s members in the spring of 1958, Hanjiro began to shift his creative output from large bowls and jars to everyday utensils such as rice bowls and plates. At the same time, he renewed his resolve to continue the tradition of Seto pottery.

The world of pottery production has been greatly affected by changes in taste and technology over the generations. However, from raw materials to firing methods, the Sixth Generation Hanijiro’s creative approach remained constant in the midst of changing times. His 1958 encounter with the mingei movement helped to strengthen his determination. Today, inherited by Hanjiro VII and the next generation’s Hanjiro VIII, the same spirit lives on in the pottery of the Hongyogama kiln.


Bernard Reach (left), Hamada Shoji (center) and Sixth Hanjiro at Hongyogama Kiln, 1964.

bottom of page