Tetsuaki Nakao High Class Arita Set: Ginga-yuu Yunomi

Potter: Tetsuaki Nakao

Approximate size: W 4.99″ by H 3.32″ or 12.8 by 8.5cm

This is a first class set of 2 yunomi, tea (or coffee), cups with saucers by master potter Tetsuaki Nakao. Impeccably worked to the delicate clover shape seen in the photos. Thrown thin, yet the size is perfect and when you see them in person they radiate elegance and have a real air of luxury about them. Sadly my vocabulary falls short trying to accurately describe them.

Born into a family of potters in Saga prefecture in 1952, he was initially set on a academic future in the field of philosophy but midway through decided to, wholeheartedly pursue pottery instead. Each part of the set is glazed with his characteristic glaze of his own devising he titled Ginga-yuu, which translates to Galaxy glaze. Tetsuaki Nakao has described the work as follows.

Thousands of years ago, people in the orient believed that the stars in the sky held our fate and future


After ten years of tireless study I discovered a technique to convey the beauty of the cosmos through pottery. Due to the sensitivity and complexity of the glaze each piece displays a unique array of colors and patterns, each as magnificent as a jewel.

From what I’ve read about this potter and his glaze specifically is that he has 5 different types of Galaxy glaze. To create works with the different outcomes he uses a total of 5 different kilns in order to create the specific circumstances to influence the final result. All the while adhering to one and the same recipe. The particles of various metal elements in the glaze crystallize during a stage of gradual reheating, after being subjected to extreme temperatures and Tetsuaki Nakao has mentioned it would not be possible to create the different outcomes by use of a single kiln. The glaze is delicate and each shade of color requires highly specific firing conditions to achieve. During the firing, the kiln can reach temperatures of 1280° Celsius!

1952 Born in Takeo City, Saga Prefecture, Japan
Started undergraduate degree of Philosophy in the Faculty of Letters of Keio University
1981 Decided to be a ceramic artist and was selected for Japan Contemporary Arts and Crafts Association Exhibition
1982 Awarded a place in the Japanese Fine Arts Exhibition
1992 Works archived at the Central Academy of Fine Arts Museum, Beijing and the Guanyao Museum, Hangzhou (China)
1993 Invited as the Japanese representative to exhibit at “Biennale Internationale de Ceramique d’Art de Vienna” (France)
1994 Parallel exhibition with “Kitaoji, Rosanjin” at the Denver Art Museum, Colorado (USA), currently housed in the permanent collection
1995 Awarded the International Art Encouragement prize ‘Mostra D’arte Giapponese’ Comune di Montelupo Fiorentio, Italia
1997 Exhibited as the Japanese representative at the Japan-Spain Cultural Exchange Art Exhibition, “Heart Art in Spain 1997” (Spain)
Awarded the SIR City of Sevilla Cultural Education Merit prize “Premio Meritorio de Culturay Education de Municipio de Sevilla”
1998 Appointed “Salon L’Amicale des Arts de Versailes” member, France
Selected for EXPO ARTEC’98
Selected exhibition to a Japan-France contemporary art exposition. Medalist of the Trustee, CHRISTIAN RANGROACH (President of de L’Acdemie des ‘Beaux-Arts’ de L’Institut de France)

1999 Selected for the Japanese Art exhibition in Amsterdam in celebration of the 400 Year Anniversary of Japan-Dutch Relations and awarded “Art Union Holland prize”
Ceramics exhibition “Contemporary Arita & Meissen”
Selected for Art gallery exhibition at Albrecht Castle Museum (Meissen, Germany)
2000 Awarded the Millennium Art Academy Global prize by the Overseas Arts Exchange Association
Selected for and exhibited at the Paris 2000 touring exhibition “Japanese Art Festival”
2001 Awarded the “Premio de Arte A.M.S.C. Espana” by the Art Maison Selecting Committee Invited to be the Japanese representative to exhibit at the 5th Monaco Japanese Culture Festival upon the recommendation of President of Honor of the Society of Artists PAUL AMBILLE
Awarded the Principality of Monaco Honorary prize by the AAD council of Monaco
2002 Appointed as an honorary member of the “Associazione Culturale L’alba Gatta Roma Awarded AMSC Spain Headquarters Commendation prize by the Art Maison Selecting Committee
Special exhibition held at the China-Japan Joint Calligraphy Exhibition (China)
Awarded The Cultural Agency Director’s prize
Awarded The Grand Prize, in the Ceramics Division at the Ecology Earth Art 21 Exhibition
2003 Exhibited at the Revolution in Art exhibition at the Louvre Museum (France)
Awarded “Prix de La Porte des Lions” and special prize “Prix Tricolore de la Paix de l’Art”. Exhibited at the 2nd Turkey-Japan contemporary art world exhibition 2003 at Istanbul Topkai Palace (Turkey), granted the Ottoman Empire art decoration
Awarded “The Glory of Neo Renaissance Art in Firenze” and “Premio Costanza de’ Medici per la Art” prize
Received a special invite to exhibit at the Vatican City’s “Vatican Divine Creation exhibition” Exhibited at Galeria Della Pigna
2004 Exhibited at the “Cannes International Art Festival”
Awarded “The Cote d’Azur International Art” prize
Galaxy Glaze tea utensils are introduced by Sojitsu Kobori who is the 13th Enshu tea ceremony head family grand master
Master’s selection in “Ozone Summer Tea Festival” Exhibited to German Arita Ceramic Art Exhibition (Meissen, Berlin and Dusseldorf)


This set is unused and condition is mint. Complete with the paulownia tomobako, storage box bearing calligraphy and potter’s stamp on the lid. Some of, and certainly the most magnificent works by Tetsuaki Nakao that I’ve had the pleasure of viewing and handling. First class works for which words fall short.

€950 + shipping cost

2005 Galaxy Glaze tea utensils are introduced by Sojitsu Kobori to the Grand Master platinum tearoom “The 2005 World Exposition, Aichi, Japan”
First private exhibition in KEIO, Shinjuku, Tokyo
Certified by AUL as an artist who has made a significant contribution to the art world and its history by AΩ selection conference
Exhibited at the Japanese Fine Arts exhibition at Queen Sirikit Art Museum (Thailand) Awarded the prize for excellent art from the Thailand royal family
2006 Invited to exhibit at the Beijing International Art Exposition
2007 Invited to exhibit at the Moscow International Art Exposition
Awarded “The Russian Academy of Arts Secretary of the Organizing Committee Award” Private exhibition at a Queen Victoria gallery London
Exhibited the first one man show in a foreign country at the Chelsea Old Hall London Exhibited at the Heart Art in BARCELONA – Spain & Japan art Exchange Festival
Awarded “The Barcelona Ceramic Art Foundation” prize
Debuted Galaxy Glaze vases in Bonhams International Contemporary Ceramics auction
2010 Received Art Cup of Princesses under the patronage of H.R.H Princess Somsawali of Thailand
Exhibited at the interchange festival in Hungary as recommended by the museum director for the Louvre
Exhibited for Hungary Culture Art Honorary Artists prize and awarded Heart Art in Budapest Exhibited Tetsuaki Nakao and the Galaxy Glaze solo exhibition at Fukuoka Art Museum
2011 Tea bowls exhibited at London Christie’s Auction, Japanese Art & Design including Arts of The Samurai
2012 Tea bowls exhibited at London Christie’s Auction, The Japanese Aesthetic
2013 A stoneware vase exhibited at London Christie’s Auction, Asobi