Sakaida Kakiemon XIV Japanese, Living National Treasure, 1934-2013

Kakiemon is a colorful, decorative style of porcelain, named after the illustrious Kakiemon family who perfected porcelain ware in Arita, Kyushu. Sakaida Kakiemon, the 14th generation head of the Kakiemon family, specializes in porcelains with strong compositional motifs. He trained in nihonga, or Japanese-style painting, prior to working in porcelain production with his grandfather, Kakiemon XII (1878–1963), and father, Kakiemon XIII (1906–1982). In 2001, Sakaida Kakiemon was designated a Living National Treasure for his excellence in over-glazed enamel porcelains. Sakaida’s work harmoniously combines traditional colors and motifs in the Kakiemon style with his own contemporary aesthetic.


The appeal of Kakiemon porcelain is the meticulous image of richly colored enamel painting on a pristine white background. Nigoshide, a white porcelain base unique to Kakiemon porcelain, was invented in the late 17th century by the first Kakiemon generation of potters. In 1953, Kakiemon XII and XIII succeeded in reviving nigoshide and in 1955, this technique was designated an Intangible Cultural Property by the Japanese government. In 2005, the artist received the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon from the Emperor of Japan.