The Kawashima Collection of Modern Japanese CeramicsAugust 27 2021
The Kawashima Collection of Modern Japanese Ceramics was donated to Hope College in 1989 by California resident Maurice Kawashima, who was inspired to make the gift by his friendships with several Hope alumni. The Kawashima gift includes works by many important Japanese ceramic artists of the 20th century, including seven artists who were awarded the designation of Living National Treasure by the Japanese government: Hamada Shoji, Nakazato Taroemon XII, Kondo Yuzo, Tamura Koichi, Fujimoto Yoshimichi, Matsui Kosei, and Shimaoka Tatsuzo. The ceramics given to Hope were selected from a larger collection carefully formed by Kawashima over several decades. “My interest in ceramics stems from my heritage,” Kawashima explained in an interview, “for the manner in which we Japanese live lends particular importance to this form of artistic expression. Among the variety of art forms that make up the culture of Japan, that of ceramics is a basic expression of our mode of living. This includes the art of flower arrangement, the ceremony of tea, and the etiquette of dining; all of which are inspired by and intimately associated with the beliefs of Buddhism.” Born in Japan and educated at the Bunka College of Fashion in Tokyo, Kawashima came to the United States in the early 1960s to continue his studies and pursue a career in fashion. He was hired as an instructor at the Fashion Institute of Design in New York City in 1965 and taught there for twenty-five years, rising to the rank of full professor. Kawashima also founded his own fashion company, Masaaki New York, and served as designer for a number of leading Japanese and American fashion firms. He authored several important books on pattern-making and men’s fashion and holds three patents for special measuring instruments used in the fashion industry.