Okuda Seiichi (1883–1955) and the Saikokai (Colored Jar Society) in the Taishō Era

External event - SOAS

Friday 4 March, 2016
3:00pm GMT

School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, London WC1H 0XG

East Asia Art & Archaeology Research Seminar (EARS)


Seung Yeon Sang (Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Fellow)

About the Lecture

The Saikokai (Colored Jar Society, founded in 1914 or 1916) gained prominence in the Taishō era (1912–1926) and it contributed to the gradual formation of the academic discipline of ceramic history. The Saikokai proclaimed “scientific appreciation of ceramics” as the guiding principle of their ceramic study. This new approach marked the fundamental shift in ceramic appreciation by speaking directly to both the existing tea hegemony (chanoyu) and the newly adopted fine art canons so central to the development of ceramic scholarship in modern Japan. As the leading voice of the Saikokai, Okuda Seiichi (1883–1955) conceived the very ideas about ceramic hobby and appreciation. My presentation investigates the concept of “ceramics for appreciation” raised and elaborated by Okuda to illuminate the broad intellectual currents of collecting, appreciating, and studying ceramics in the Taishō era.

To book your seat, please contact Prof. Lukas Nickel, or call 020 7898 4454

Admission free. All welcome. Places are limited and booking is essential.

About the Speaker

Seung Yeon Sang is a historian of Japanese art with particular focus on the Japanese practice of appreciating and collecting ceramics in chanoyu. Her primary research interests are transnational forms of ceramic production, the impact of Japan’s modern transformations on aesthetics and history-writing, and the meaning and uses of the museum. Her dissertation examines the trajectory of ceramic scholarship in modern Japan from its emergence in the 1910s to the first pinnacle of its development from 1924 to 1931. She has received fellowships from the Japan Foundation, the Korea Foundation, the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), and the Smithsonian Institution (Freer and Sackler Galleries of Art).

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