John was born in the US and lived there until settling in Japan 30 years ago. He is a Bizen yaki (Bizen ware) expert who apprenticed to Japanese Bizen master Michiaki Kaneshige, a Living Prefectural Treasure and first son of Living National Treasure Toyo Kaneshige. John currently lives in Bizen City, Japan, where he operates his own kiln.
Bizen City, the mecca of Bizen yaki, is a small town surrounded by mountains and rice fields approximately 2.5 hours away from Kyoto by train. It is surprising to find a foreigner living in such a place. What is more surprising, he is a pottery master who speaks perfect Japanese and has a decidedly native understanding of the spirit of Bizen yaki.
Fascinated by Bizen yaki while studying at university, John asked his professor about an apprenticeship to a Bizen yaki master. John did not easily acquire such an apprenticeship. Three months after writing a letter of introduction to a master that his professor knew (Kaneshige), the letter was returned undelivered. A second letter was sent but received no reply, at which point John decided to visit Japan.
Became interested in John and Bizan ware? koi Travel offers you unique Bizen ware experiences with John!