Inoue Manji Japanese, Living National Treasure, b. 1929

Hakuji Hanagata Kaki (white porcelain flower shaped flower vessel) and Hakuji Mentori Kaki (beveled white porcelain flower vessel) are the masterpieces to which Manji has devoted his life. As he has grown, however, Manji noted that, “Across my whole life, I have created only white porcelain without any patterns. I am only human, however, so sometimes I feel like adding beautiful patterns.“ As a result, he began to use a red glaze in his 60s as a reference to kanreki (the 60th birthday). In his 70s, he began using a yellow glaze, and in his 80s, he began drawing designs with a purple glaze. Inspired by long-adored nature- based designs featuring the peony, camellia, and seikaiha (blue ocean waves), Manji created masterpieces that demonstrate the timeless beauty of pure porcelain as well as the perfected sophistication of graceful design. 


Over the past 50 years, Inoue Manji has received innumerable prestigious awards including the Governor’s Award and the Art Association Award at the Saga Prefectural Exhibition; the Issuikai Award and the Member’s Grand Prize at the Issuikai Ceramics Exhibition; the Minister of Education, Science and Culture Incentive Award at the Kyusyu Yamaguchi Ceramics Exhibition; the Distinguished Service Award by Saga Prefecture; the Japanese Government’s Medal with Purple Ribbon, and the Nishinippon Cultural Award. In 1990, he was featured in a publication by James Srubek entitled, Porcelain: An Oriental/Japanese Method with Sensei Manji Inoue. Of utmost significance, however, was his designation as a “Living National Treasure” by the government of Japan in 1995 for the importance of his contribution to the intangible cultural heritage of Japan through his hakuji pottery.