Tokuda Yasokichi I

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  • Born: 1873
  • Died: 1956, February 20

Tokuda Yasokichi I was a Japanese ceramics artist credited with the revival of the Edo period Kutani style of porcelain works, which went into decline in the Meiji period. Though Yasokichi was named a "holder of Intangible Cultural Property" in 1953, he lost that designation the following year when the country's cultural protections frameworks were reorganized, and died before he could be inducted into the new system as a "Living National Treasure" in 1956.

His son, Tokuda Yasokichi II (1907-1997), succeeded him and became a prominent and significant ceramics artist in his own right. However, it was to his grandson, Tokuda Yasokichi III, that Yasokichi I passed on many secret techniques, including recipes for glazes written in code, even telling Yasokichi III not to share these recipes or techniques with his father (Yasokichi II). Yasokichi III did, in the end, share some of these techniques with his father long after Yasokichi I's death. Yasokichi III was named a Living National Treasure in 1997. Yasokichi III was then succeeded by his daughter, who has taken on the name Yasokichi IV.


  • Nicole Coolidge Rousmaniere, Crafting Beauty in Modern Japan, University of Washington Press (2007), 16-17.