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The month of Obon

In Japan, August is the month of Obon (in some regions,Obon is in July), a time when we worship our ancestors or family members in a variety of ways.
Such ways include Ohaka mairi(visiting graves), Toro nagashi(floating paper lanterns down a river), Mukaebi(welcoming fire for returning spirits), Okuribi(seeing off spirits), Bon odori(dancing festival),and so on. 

Obon of this year 2012 is the second time since the Tohoku Earthquake, and so, for us, it has become a special occasion. Those who lost their families and friends believe that the people who died during this earthquake live in peace in heaven and during this brief period of Obon, they come to see their beloved people. Without this tradition, it would be difficult to move toward the future. Starting now, we should address the problems that continue to plague our society: recovery operations, nuclear issues, disaster prevention, and so on. With this in mind, during Obon, we should come together as one to honor the ancient Japanese.

This bowl is one of Akemi Ito's works. As you can see, it was molded into a beautiful form and glazed thickly. Because the pottery is made from Earth and will ultimately return to Earth, I feel that it expresses Rinne Tensho(reincarnation).The reason we continue to create and value pottery is that it is our tangible link to ancient times and, therefore, we are attached to it.

Ms.Ito lives in Fukuoka Prefecture. She primarily creates pottery which is modeled after Karatsuyaki or Korean pottery from the Joseon Dynasty(1392-1910). At first sight, her works appear mannish; however, she produces feminine arrangements as well, which are practical in both size and shape. Though her works are very popular, she creates very few pieces at a time. She is wary, for example, about how she chooses clay, and judges by instinct. Her work is appealing because of its healing essence, and thus I feel it like a best friend.

Akemi  Ito
Size D15.5−H5.3    Price 4,200Yen

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