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Kōgei and the Future: the 22nd Okada Mokichi Award

2022.10.07(Fri) - 2022.10.25(Tue)


The Okada Mokichi Award celebrates the thriving kōgei creation in Japan by recognizing leading artisans and creators of modern kōgei crafts. This 22nd Award has invited to join our panel of judges experts and researchers who engage in creative work in the forefront of the Japanese art society, who shortlisted eight promising young creators. After thorough deliberations, Shiroma Eiichi was selected for the Grand Prix, for his Ryukyu bingata textile. This exhibition presents the work of these 8 creators to showcase their creativity for the future of kōgei.


Grand Prix


Winner of Okada Mokichi Award

Kimono of Ryukyu bingata “Nami no uta” (Melody of waves), Shiroma Eiichi, 2021


The Shiromas are one of the three families that operated bingata production under the patronage of the Ryukyu Kingdom. In his 20s, Eiichi made a voyage through Southeast Asia and rediscovered his national identity in the bingata textile. Today, he continues the family tradition as the 16th generation practitioner, exploring new possibilities with the art. He introduces new motifs inspired by the marine wildlife of Okinawa into his designs while faithfully perpetuating the traditional indigo stencil dye technique known as aigata.

Shiroma Eiichi  
1977 Born in Naha, Okinawa as a first son of Shiroma Eijun, the 15th master of the Shiroma Bingata Kobo
2003 Spent two years in Special Region of Yogyakarta to learn Batik
2011 Grand prix at the 62nd OKITEN
Finalist at the 58th Japan Traditional Art Exhibition
2012 Fukuoka Mayor Award at the 47th West-Japan Traditional Art Exhibition
2014 Commendation Award at the 49th West-Japan Traditional Art Exhibition
2015 Award for promising new talent at the 62nd Japan Traditional Art Exhibition; recommended for Japan Kōgei Association membership
2021 Okinawa Times Award at the 55th West-Japan Traditional Art Exhibition
Present The 16th master practitioner and representative of the Shiroma Bingata Kobo
Member of the Japan Kōgei Association
Judge panel for the dye section of the OKITEN
Lecturer at the Okinawa Prefectural University of Arts
Lecturer at the Okinawa University

Other participants of the Okada Mokichi Award


青瓷平壺 ―水天彷彿―

Celadon low jar “Suiten Hofutsu” (Disappearing horizon), Tsugane Hitomu, 2021

Tsugane Hitomu  
1973 Born in Kumamoto prefecture
1993 Completed the training on pottery at the Arita College of Ceramics
2003 Expedition to classical Song kilns in China
2005 Finalist at the 52nd Japan Traditional Art Exhibition (won the same award 17 times in total)
2007 Celadon Jar purchased by the Imperial Household Agency
2010 Japan Kōgei Association Award at the 45th West-Japan Traditional Art Exhibition (won the same award 9 times in total)
2011 Inspection trip to Southern Song official kilns and Xiuneisi kiln
2014 Excellence prize at the Modern Ceramics for Tea Exhibition TOKI Oribe
Exhibition CELADON NOW (The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, etc.)
2020 Successful candidate in relation to the Project to relocate the National Crafts Museum to Ishikawa (body of work purchased)
Exhibition Blue or While?—Celadon, White Porcelain, and Bluish-white Porcelain (at the Ibaraki Ceramic Art Museum)
2021 Commendation Award, the 9th Kikuchi Biennale
2022 Ceramics of the Past and of the Future: The Timelessness of Traditional Japanese Craft Arts (at the Panasonic Shiodome Museum of Art, etc.)


White earthenware “DAI”, Wada Akira, 2017

Wada Akira  
1978 Born in Chiba prefecture
2001 Graduated from Bunka Gakuin and joined Uwataki Katsuji’s atelier
2005 Became independent and gained the Japan Kōgei Association membership
2007 Travel to France on Budding Artists Training Program by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan (public collection)
Imperial Household Agency, Japan Foundation, Ise Cultural Foundation
Toki City, Chiba City, National Crafts Museum, Ibaraki
Ceramic Art Museum, Tomo Museum of Art
Paramita Museum, Takashimaya Archives
Cincinnati Art Museum (USA)
Minneapolis Institute of Art (USA)
Allen Memorial Art Museum (USA)
MINKA-Museo de Arte Moderno La Casa de Japon (Argentina)


Box in kantshitsu “Nagareru” (Flux), Okui Mina, 2017

Okui Mina  
1970 Born in Kanagawa prefecture
1992 Graduated from the Tokyo Woman's Christian University
1999 First-time finalist at the 17th Japan Traditional Lacquer Art Exhibition
2001 Completed the urushi application course at the Ishikawa Prefectural Institute for Wajima Shitsugei Technique
Joined Murose Kazumi for apprenticeship (until 2009)
2003 First-time finalist at the 50th Japan Traditional Art Exhibition
2006 Japan Kōgei Association Award at the 46th Traditional Art New Works Exhibition
Governor of Metropolitan Tokyo Award at the 53rd Japan Traditional Art Exhibition
2010 The 50th Special Award at the 50th East-Japan Traditional Art Exhibition
2012 Commendation Award at the 52nd East-Japan Traditional Art Exhibition
2017 Japan Kōgei Association President Award at the 64th Japan Traditional Art Exhibition
2020 Decoration of a Medal with Purple Ribbon
Present Presently a formal member of the Japan Kōgei Association


Plate in kanshitsu “Nagare” (Stream), Takayama Naoya, 2021

Takayama Naoya  
1981 Born in Hiroshima prefecture
2003 Joined Ōtsuka Mamoru, a Kyoto-based urushi artisan, to acquire the skills in roironuri
2019 Became active as an urushi artist
Commendation Award in the product sector of the 16th Hiroshima Good Design Awards
2020 The Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Award at the Japan’s Traditional Craft Competition 2020
Governor of Hiroshima Award at the 63rd Japan Traditional Art Exhibition by Chugoku Branch
2021 Asahi Shimbun Award at the 38th Japan Traditional Lacquer Art Exhibition
Sanyo Shimbun Award at the 64th Japan Traditional Art Exhibition by Chugoku Branch
Finalist at the 68th Japan Traditional Art Exhibition
2022 Governor of Tottori Award at the 65th Japan Traditional Art Exhibition by Chugoku Branch
Recognized in the Local brand program of Hiroshima as “Hiroshima Shitsugei”


Box with honeycomb design in silver inlay, Shintani Hitomi, 2021

Shintani Hitomi  
1987 Born in Hiroshima prefecture
2010 Completed studies at the Faculty of Art and Design, the University of Toyama
2012 Joined Living National Treasure Kitamura Shosai for apprenticeship
2014 Establish herself as an independent artist Opened her own atelier in Nara
2015 First-time finalist at the 62nd Japan Traditional Art Exhibition
2020 Temporary Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Art and Design, the University of Toyama
Relocated to Toyama
2018 Prince Takamatsu Memorial Award at the 65th Japan Traditional Art Exhibition
2021 Asahi Shimbun Award at the 68th Japan Traditional Art Exhibition


Hammered and twisted hexagon metal water container, Sako Ryuhei, 2021

Sako Ryuhei  
1976 Born in Okayama prefecture
1999 Completed studies in design and applied arts at the Hiroshima City University
2002 MFA in Design and Applied Art, Graduate School of the Hiroshima City University
2003 Governor of Metropolitan Tokyo Award at the 50th Japan Traditional Art Exhibition
2008 Commissioner of Cultural Affairs Award at the 37th Traditional Crafts Japan Metalwork Exhibition
2016 Grand Award at the 32nd Tansuio Awards of the Sato Foundation
2018 Loweve Craft Prize 2018 (The Design Museum, UK)
Mister Der Moderne (Handwerksmesse Munchen, Germany)
2020 Kogei 2020 - The Art of Crafrting Beauty from Nature (Tokyo National Museum)
2021 Japan: A History of Style (Metropolitan Museum of Art, USA)
2022 What Colour is Metal? (Dublin Castle, Ireland)


Glass vessel designed in kirikane “Kasasagi no hashi” (Magpie bridge), Yamamoto Akane, 2020

Yamamoto Akane  
1977 Born in Kanazawa, Ishikawa prefecture
2001 Completed the Nihonga course at the Kyoto City University of Arts
2011 Completed studies in glass making at the Toyam City Institute of Glass Art
2013 Kyoto City New Artist Award
2014 NHK Chairman Prize at the 61st Japan Traditional Art Exhibition
2015 Special award of Traditional Japanese Culture Pola Award
2016 Honorable mention at the Kyoto Prefecture Cultural Awards
2019 The 21st Okada Mokichi Award Exhibition (MOA Museum of Art)
2020 The 33rd Kyoto Fine Arts Culture Award
Special planed Contemporary Japanese Crafts: Reinterpretation, Exquisite Craftsmanship, and Aesthetic Exploration (Panasonic Shiodome Museum of Art)
Elegant luster of gold - Decoration of Kirikane technique (Ishikawa Prefectural Museum of Traditional Art)
2021 The first Classics Day Prize
Solo exhibition: Akane Yamamoto−the decade of the Kirikane Glass (Art Gallery, Sogo Yokohama)
Contemporary women artists of Japan: six stories (The British Museum, UK)
Board of judges  
Ogasawara Sae (Professor emeritus, Japan Women’s University)
Kawai Masatomo (Art historian, professor emeritus, Keio University)
Tanaka Hidetoshi (Honorary director, National Crafts Museum)
Murose Kazumi (Urushi artist, Living National Treasure, Vice President of Japan Kōgei Association)
Uchida Tokugo (Director, MOA Museum of Art)
Selection committee  
Oyama Yuzuruha (Chief curator, Tokyo National Museum)
Karasawa Masahiro (Director, National Crafts Museum)
Kurokawa Hiroko (Director, University Museum, Tokyo University of the Arts)
Kondo Toyoko (Lecturer, Tokyo University of the Arts)
Sasaki Masanao (Special Director, Gunma Museum of Art, Tatebayashi)
Harada Kazutoshi (Director, Fukuyama Museum of Art)
Monika Bincsik (Associate curator of Aian Arts, Metropolitan Museum of Art, USA)
Yashiro Katsuya (Chief curator, MOA Museum of Art)