Masaru Kamei Seto Nezumi-Hana Kashiki

Potter:  Kamei Masaru

Approximate size: W6.9″ by 4.7 by H2.0″ or 17.5 by 12.0 by 5.0cm

This is a kashiki or presentation platter by famed Nitten exhibition potter Masaru Kamei (1933-). Masaru Kamei is a potter working in the Seto style which is centered around Seto City in modern day Aichi prefecture. This item has a nezumi or gray glaze and a seemingly simple design of flowers on a diamond motive. On closer inspection, through its simplicity it gives off a sense of sophistication, less is more in this case. It sits on 3 small legs keeping it stable even when a surface is uneven.

1967 Contemporary Crafts & Arts Exhibition, received the Contemporary Crafts Award 1972 The Foreign Minister’s Award at Japan Modern Art Crafts Exhibition
1973 The Chun-ichi International Ceramic Exhibition Grand Prize
1974 & 1976 Nitten Exhibition Special Award

Masaru Kamei was born in Aichi prefecture in 1933. He studied and graduated from Aichi prefecture’s Seto pottery senior high school before apprenticing himself under his father, a master potter in his own right. He won his first prize at the Nitten Exhibition in 1953 and was the youngest to win this prize ever in its history. However, after his first prize in 1953, he quit to exhibit his works at any exhibitions for several years to concentrate and refocus himself on creating his original pottery style. Then he established his original style of artworks, which became a style of metallic and abstract works created with black clay. Masaru Kamei became famous as an avant-garde potter in Japan and his outstanding works received many prizes. He also held many trainings abroad and his works has received high evaluation both in and out of the country.

1992 Aichi Prefecture Arts and Culture Award, Culture Award, Frankfurt City, Germany
1993 Tradition and Avant-garde Crafts Exhibition in Japan Today, Bremen, Germany
1994 The Japan Modern Art Crafts Exhibition Prime Minister Prize
1996 Contemporary Crafts Japan’s New Arts and Crafts Exhibition
Received Aichi prefecture’s Education Award (Culture)

Kashiki are vessels on which sweets are placed. There are many kinds such as lacquer-ware, ceramic and plain wood. However kashiki are generally not used for omogashi when there are multiple guests. For those occasions there often are different vessels are used, usually those sets consist of 5 or 6 pieces and are called meimei-zara. Omogashi are small sweets which are served before the drinking of koicha, thick matcha tea during the Tea ceremony.

Using unique and handmade utensils like this one can change the atmosphere and your perception of it when displayed in your home or using it in your own personalized ritual, be it in a formal gathering or just a afternoon snack.


Omogashi, “main sweet,” are made for serving before koicha. They are served after the kaiseki meal and before (or when it is very hot in the summer, during) the nakadachi break, before the second half of the chaji.

Omogashi for koicha are properly served in lacquer fuchidaka, trays “with high sides” which evolved in Daitokuji. Usually now consisting of 5 layers and one lid, there are several konomi available, starting with Rikyu-gata shin-nuri, as well as ceramic and even glass fuchidaka. For serving a kininーnoble, a single, 4-footed, new, wooden (kiji), fuchidaka is used.

The most formal style is to serve omogashi in individual lidded lacquer bowls called kashi-wan. Usually sweets served this way are heated and the bowl keeps them hot.


2000 The Japan Modern Art Crafts Exhibition Minister for Education Prize
Received Seto Province’s Public Merit Award
2012 The 44th Nitten Exhibition Minister of Education Prize
Received Minister of Science’s Commendation at the 44th Fine Arts Exhibition of Education, Culture & Sports

Seto ware is the pottery made in Seto City and nearby areas of modern Aichi prefecture. The Seto area was the center of pottery manufacture in the Kamakura period; ko-Seto (old-Seto), designates pieces made at this time. At the end of the Muromachi period the center of the pottery manufacture moved to nearby Mino. At that time wares made in the area from Seto to Mino were called Seto-yaki.

In the early Edo period, some pottery manufacture moved back to Seto. In 1822, Kato Tamikichi (1722-1824), introduced sometsuke jiki (blue-and-white porcelain; sometsuke), from Arita in modern Saga prefecture, and this porcelain, called shinsei or new production rather than the original Seto ware pottery, Hongyou became standard. The Japanese term Setomono is also used as a generic term for all pottery. Seto was the location of one of the Six Ancient Kilns of Japan.

During the Meiji period, Seto ware adapted Western techniques, gaining great popularity. In addition to plain Seto, the Mino kilns also produced several types of Seto wares from the mid 16th century, including Seto-guro (black Seto), and Ki-Seto (yellow Seto). Ki-seto, fired at the same kilns as Shino and Seto-guro wares during the Momoyama period, featured “fried bean-curd” glaze, Aburagede (油揚げ abura-age or aburage), developed in emulation of Chinese celadons. It utilizes an iron-rich wood-ash glaze and is reduction fired at a high temperature to produce a texture and bone color alike celadon; in an oxygen-rich kiln, the minerals in the clay and glaze create a distinctive opaque yellow glaze.

Omogashi are generally very sweet and quite substantial. They are served after the kaiseki meal and before (or when it is very hot in the summer; during), the nakadachi break, before the second half of the chaji. They are also served with thin tea at oyose, the larger type of Chanoyu gathering.

The Japanese term for it, Setomono, is also used as a generic term for all pottery. Seto was the location of one of the Six Ancient Kilns of Japan.

Masaru Kamei won the Blue-ribbon award at the great Nitten Exhibition, in 1974 and in 1976. This is the highest award for potters entering this career-making competition.

The item has no chips or cracks and is in mint condition. Comes with the original quality paulownia tomobako with kiln stamp and calligraphy on either side of the lid lid. This kashiki is hand-signed opposed to bearing a stamp.

€175+ shipping cost

In a nutshell, Bunten and Teiten were official, state-controlled, juried art exhibitions. Nitten replaced them after the war. The meaning of these official exhibition societies for the world of Japanese arts was pretty comparable to the French Salon in the second half of the nineteenth century. The conservative Salon was the institution most hated by the French impressionists – their works were regularly rejected by the jury. And without a representation by the Salon, an artist had hardly any chance to sell anything to private collectors.

After the end of the Pacific war the attribute Imperial was no longer trendy. Everything was reorganized and renamed. In 1946 the Imperial Art Academy became The Japan Fine Arts Exhibition, abbreviated as Nitten. The Nitten has developed into a large organization. Today the Nitten has five art faculties, Japanese Style Painting, Western Style Painting, Sculpture, Craft as Art and Calligraphy.