Studio Visit: Takeshi Imaizumi

Magic of the Tea Bowl Volume III
June 21, 2023
Studio Visit: Takeshi Imaizumi

Takeshi Imaizumi creates not only celadon, but also modern, iridescent works in refined black and white. With a keen eye on the historical significance of celadon, Imaizumi maintains and enhances the tradition with his mastery of a complex crackle glaze.


Takeshi ImaizumiBlue Porcelain Tea Bowl - 青瓷茶碗, (C25938)


Question 1

Do you practice tea in daily life? Please share your chanoyu routine, or a beloved memory of chanoyu.



 I sincerely enjoy making matcha with my art pieces daily, yet, I have never joined a specific school. I used to join numerous tea ceremonies, particularly those hosted by Hayashiya Seizo at Kakiden Gallery in Tokyo. Seizo, the first tea pottery researcher in Japan, sometimes offered us to hold and feel the remarkable historical tea bowls created by Chojiro and Koetsu. That was quite a memorable experience for me as a tea bowl artist.


 Takeshi Imaizumi in his studio.


Takeshi Imaizumi, wheel progress.



Please describe the influences that inspire your work.



 I find inspiration in various aspects of history, including pottery history, political events, and geographical developments. I am particularly intrigued by how classical works align with their historical contexts. One of the examples would be Tenmoku, which indicates the cultural maturity of the Northern Song dynasty. Used initially as black-glazed everyday tableware, it eventually transformed into Jian Zhan, an esteemed art form because tea culture was widespread during that era.


 Takeshi Imaizumi, Blue Porcelain Tea Bowl - 青瓷茶碗, (C25937)



Please describe the qualities do you most treasure in a tea bowl—be that shape, color, texture, or history, style, and type of clay? 



In creating chawan, shape, color, texture, and history are all indispensable elements. My objective is to craft pieces that I would proudly present to Emperor Huizong and the skilled potters of his era. I wish people would admire the bowls and exclaim, "Oh, it's beautiful.” when they see bowls. 


 Takeshi Imaizumi works in progress.


 Takeshi Imaizumi works in progress.


Takeshi Imaizumi白瓷茶盌, (C24584AP)



Please share with us how you prepare to make a new piece; how do you decide on the materials and direction for the idea?



 I hope people use any chawan regardless of the strict rules in Sado. Even if the Tenmoku form is too formal for regular ceremony use, please try it casually with friends or yourself at the table. It would be appreciated if users could develop a deeper interest in the history and culture of tea initially using them.

Become immersed in the neverending patterns of Takeshi Imaizumi's celadon glazed tea bowls at Ippodo Gallery's annual Magic of the Tea Bowl exhibtion, on view until July 13.



About the author

Keiko Taniguchi

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