Inoue Manji Japanese, Living National Treasure, b. 1929

Inoue Manji was born in 1929, learning to specialize in Arita ware—a traditionally colorful pottery form. Soon, however, he began working in white porcelain and became celebrated worldwide for the graceful medium. Hakuji is created by pouring a transparent glaze over white clay (Kaolin) and firing at a high temperature. Inoue demands perfection in shape and is known to be unforgiving, rejecting even a millimeter of distortion. He states that, “hakuji expresses itself through form rather than added decoration,” and his pieces exemplify this truth through refined curves and purely rounded forms rather than distracting surface decor. Simple lines belie their power as viewers’ eyes are lost in the infinite depth of pure white peaks and valleys. The smooth, soft, silky surface of these delicately hardened forms characterizes the unmatched beauty of Manji’s work.


Selected Awards and Exhibitions

2020 Asia Week, New York, US

2019 The 66th Japan Traditional Kōgei Exhibition, Japan

2018 Living National Treasure Exhibition, MOA Museum of Modern Art, Shizuoka, Japan

2007 Solo Exhibition, Krakow Academy of Fine Arts, Poland

2002 Recipient of the Nishi Nippon Cultural Award
1997 Recipient of the Japanese Government’s Medal with Purple Ribbon

1987 Awarded the Minister of Education, Science and Culture Prize at the Japan Traditional Art Crafts Exhibition

Selected Collections

Museum of Modern Art | Ibaraki, Japan

Museum of Fine Arts | Gifu, Japan

National Museum of Modern Art | Tokyo

Yale University Art Gallery | New Haven, Connecticut

Minneapolis Institute of Art | Minneapolis, Minnesota

Agency of Cultural Affairs of Japan