Traditional Culture of Japan - Portal site of traditional crafts and culture

The Fujiwara Kei Memorial


Fujiwara Kei was certified as a Living National Treasure (Important Intangible Cultural Asset Holder) for Bizen ware in 1970; however, he wasn't always involved with Bizen ware.


His family was in agriculture, and he originally aspired to be an author. He therefore found work at a publishing company, put out collections of poems, and followed the path of literature. However, he gave up on the literary path and came back to his hometown, finally getting started with Bizen ware when he was around 40 years old. However, with his literary background, he was able to turn out some unique and original work.


In comparison with the first generation Living National Treasure for Bizen ware, Kaneshige Tōyō, his works were starkly different. Whereas Kaneshige left behind works that were subtle and detailed, Fujiwara's works were imposing and rustic.


Fujiwara Kei's being named an honorary citizen of Bizen City for his work with Bizen ware became the motivating factor for establishing the Fujiwara Kei Memorial. The memorial exhibits many of the works left behind by Fujiwara.


Visiting The Fujiwara Kei Memorial
The Fujiwara Kei Memorial is located a slight distance from JR Inbe Station. Since it is too far to walk realistically, it is best to take a taxi. A rough estimate would put you there in about 12 minutes from the station by taxi.


The memorial is at the top of a steep incline.




When you enter the building, Fujiwara Kei's works are set out on display on the first floor.



In the basement, Classic Bizen ware works that Fujiwara had collected before his death are on display. Classic Bizen refers to Bizen ware made in older ages. You can admire Bizen ware works from the Kamakura Period (1185-1333), the Muromachi Period (1336-1573), and the Azuchi-Momoyama Period (1573-1603).


Exiting the building and going further up the incline will bring you to a gallery. The gallery exhibits not only works by Fujiwara Kei, but also by his son, another Living National Treasure, Fujiwara Yū.




The Fujiwara Kei Memorial also serves as a valuable archive where you can learn about Classic Bizen ware and the works of Living National Treasures. You can even get a glimpse of Fujiwara Kei's laid-back humanity in the imposing nature of the works.

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