The Work is the Soul of a Craftsman

Meet Yoshiyuki Kawada, both a master of traditional techniques of the craft and an artist, and get to know him through his works.

Having bonsai in his blood from his father, he dabbled in it as a young man and experienced healing relief from the daily grind of life. He came up against one problem though. He couldn't find suitable pots for his trees. What does one do in this case? Of course--he began to make his own! One thing led to another, and he quit his job to concentrate on a year of dedicated training in the classic techniques of the traditional craft of pot making.

Unfortunately, when he began to create original designs, his work was rejected by the establishment as "too novel". Kawada-san then set out on his own on a lifelong journey of experimenting and creating.

"In bonsai, the tree is thought to be the main character, but I think the beauty in bonsai is that the tree and the pot are equal parts of a whole, complementing each other. It is not only a matter of fitting a pot to a tree, but there is also pleasure in making a tree tailored to a pot. The pot is not merely something to put a tree in; it is Art, together with the tree."

In a small part of a small field of a small art in a small country, this man plays a big role in saving a dying art. He is determined to share his art with the world, and in doing so, hopes to contribute to the preservation of the skills and techniques of the craft of creating bonsai pots.