I finally returned after 2 years after moving out of Japan to Mashiko and met with Hamada Tomoo-san, the grandson of Hamada Shoji, a National Living Treasure who made Mashiko well-known. Hamada Shoji collected many historical items. They made a Reference museum, the Sankokan, with all his art works, art works from his friends and other important potters from Mashiko and his collections. This is on the grounds where Hamada Shoji worked and built a Noborigama (climbing) kiln. The museum and kiln suffered lots of damage from the March 11, 2011 earthquake.
Now it is all repaired thanks to the help and gifts of many people and in celebration the Mashiko potters will fire the Noborigama. It will be a big festival! Many potters will get a little spot in the kiln and about 8000 pots will fit into the kiln. Euan Craig invited me to make a sake bottle what he will put into the kiln!! I am very exited!
They will fire the kiln for 5 days with 10 potters who are used to fire wood-fire kilns. And they will use pinewood which gets very hot.
Wish them all good luck!! Tomorrow the filling up of the kiln will start!