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Niiyama Poetic Japanese Pottery: An Interpretation of the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu

Niiyama Poetic Japanese Pottery Japanese ceramicist Mitsuya Niiyama created these one hundred ceramic pieces as interpretations of the poems of the Hyakunin Isshu.

The Hyakunin Isshu is a collection of one hundred poems composed between the 8th and 13th century CE and compiled in 1235. The collection was developed into a popular poem-recognition card game first introduced in the 17th century and still popular in Japan today. Written in the indigenous Japanese tanka (or waka) form using five lines with a set number of syllables, 5-7-5-7-7, these poems speak on the subjects of courtly and romantic love, nature, and spirituality.

Niiyama formed, decorated and inscribed each piece in relation to the themes of a specific poem from the compilation.

To fully appreciate the extent of Niiyama's work, each piece of pottery will be presented in an interactive form where people can manipulate and zoom on the piece for more details.

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Last Updated: 8/22/14