Last Thursday we were lucky enough to be invited to Yoshiko's house where the family pottery business is based and where three generations of the Takahashi family work and reside.
The family has been instrumental in the revival of historic unglazed Shigaraki ware when the development of glazed ceramics became increasingly popular in the mid 19th and early 20th century.
Yoshiko's Great Grandfather Takahashi III was designated as the Shiga Prefectural Intangible Cultural Property in 1964 and the family today are still producing ceramics from Grandfather (iv), Father (v), to Yoshiko herself and her mother Masami who makes beautiful miniature ceramic animals.
Three wood firing kilns are maintained on the premises and usually fired on an annual basis: Noborigama, Anagama and a Snake Kiln.
It was a great surprise and honour to be provided with a tea ceremony on arrival by Masami and then a tour of the premises with Yoshiko including seeing the family gallery.
This was a very memorable and moving occasion which none of us expected - we have talked about it with great joy ever since.