Sakaida Kakiemon XV Japanese , b. 1968

Sakaida Kakiemon XV took on the challenge of producing Arita pottery in Saga Prefecture at age 26, when he decided to learn to use the potter’s wheel. In 2014, upon the death of his father, Kakiemon XIV, who was a Living National Treasure, Sakaida became the 15th generation head of the family. As the eldest son, he said, “I had known that I would have to inherit the pottery tradition someday. I hope to work in a way that will not disgrace this name, which has been handed down for many years.” The Kakiemon style, dating back to the mid-17th century during the early Edo Period (1603–1868), is known for combining a milky white base called nigoshide with colorful painting. Although Arita porcelain has received international recognition, Kakiemon XV said he has come to think of it as “unfinished work.” At a ceremony to celebrate the assumption of the title, Kakiemon XV said he wants to return to the 17th century style, which he believes achieves a sense of unity with the nigoshide painting mix. After several trials, he ceased to use red, which is symbolic of the Kakiemon style.