Kakiemon is a colorful and decorative style of porcelain, named after the illustrious family who perfected porcelain wares in Arita, Kyushu. Since the early Edo period (1615–1868), Kakiemon porcelains have been exported to Europe and treasured all over the world.

Sakaida Kakiemon, the fourteenth generation head of the Kakiemon family, specialized in porcelain that demonstrates strong compositional motifs. He trained in Nihonga, a style of Japanese painting prior to working in porcelain with his grandfather (Kakiemon XII, 1878-1963) and his father (Kakiemon XIII, 1906-1982). In 2001, Sakaida Kakiemon was designated a Living National Treasure for his excellence in over-glazed enamel porcelains. His works harmoniously combine traditional colors and motifs in the Kakiemon style with his own contemporary aesthetic, cultivated through his training as a Nihonga painter.

The beauty of Kakiemon porcelain lies not only in the finished product but in its perfect balance between the richly colored and delicately executed enamel paintings against the pristine white grounds of negative space. Nigoshide (milk-white base), a white porcelain base unique to Kakiemon porcelain, was invented in the late 17th century by the first Kakiemon generation. In the 18th century, Kakiemon’s porcelain production came to a halt. It was Kakiemon XIII, Sakaida Kakiemon’s father, who succeeded in reviving the family tradition. In 1955, the nigoshide technique was designated an Intangible Cultural Property by the Japanese government.


Selected Exhibitions:
2013–2017: Asia Week, New York, US
2014: Contemporary Japanese Ceramics, Embassy of Japan, Washington D.C., US
2011: Artisanship and Aesthetic of Japan and Thailand, Bangkok National Museum, Thailand
2010: Kakiemon, Ceramics Museum Princessehof, Leeuwarden, Netherlands
2007: Crafting Beauty in Modern Japan, British Museum, London, UK