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What is Tosaiga?

Tosaiga Ceramic Painting Artist

KUSABA Kazuhisa

草場一壽

1987Comes to Arita and begins study of a new form of ceramic painting, Tosaiga

1990Establishes new ceramic painting technique that involves repeated painting and firing to obtain final colors

1992Creates Japan’s largest ceramic mural, the 20-meter “Chinju no Matsuri”

1995 Exhibits work in the International Arts and Crafts Exhibition
Designs book cover for Toshihiko Yayama’s “Ki no Ningengaku”

1996 Begins exchanges with Dunhuang Academy of Art in China
Introduced on NHK TV program “Living with Flame”
The work “I Remember You” is used for the movie poster of “Wings of a Man”

1998 Visits Mogao Caves, the Western Cave of a Thousand Buddhas and Yulin Cave in Dunhuang, China and views private collection of murals and sculptures
Pays courtesy call to Director of Dunhuang Academy of Arts

2001 Put in charge of an opinion column for a local newspaper for one year

2002 “Bodhisattva of the Water” is displayed in the trainers’ room of the U.S. major league baseball team the Seattle Mariners

2004 Opens the Tosaiga Ceramic Painting Gallery in Takeo City, Saga Prefecture

2005 Releases his first picture book about the preciousness of life, “Festival of Life: Where Do I Come From?”. Goes on to publish 4 more books in this series by 2017 (all by Sunmark Publishing). The 5 books go on to sell a cumulative total of more than 450,000 copies, becoming a long-running bestseller, an unusual accomplishment for a children’s book. “Festival of Life” is still being aired on the NHK education channel’s “Television Picture Book” program.

2006 Presents the work “Cosmic Harmony” to the President of Mongolia
“Cosmic Harmony” appears in the 14th Dalai Lama’s book, “Compassion”
Presents “Cosmic Harmony” to the Dalai Lama

2008 “Festival of Life” wins the National Kindergarten “Best Picture Book Award”

2009 Releases a collection of Tosaiga works, “Kannon Riki Cards”
“Festival of Life” is chosen to represent Japan at the Bologna International Children’s Literary Festival

2010 Releases a new type of painting, “Silklee”

2011 Hospital art exhibition held at Kanazawa Medical University
Releases the works “Heian” and “Time is Now”, the world’s first attempt at rainbow-colored Tosaiga ceramic painting

2012 Under his supervision, a prayer facility (charnel house) is completed as a new Tosaiga endeavor with “Life” as its theme
Makes directing debut with the documentary film “The Earth is a Classroom”

2013 Provides works of art such as the rainbow-colored dragon “Heian” and the abstract work “Euphoria” for use in “Strawberry Night: The Movie” released in January 2013
Dedicates a special ceramic painting “Dainichi Nyorai (Cosmic Buddha) – Diamond Realm Mandala” to Shiundo at the Fukushoji Temple in Wakayama Prefecture

2014 Renovates and reopens the Saga gallery to mark the 25th anniversary of the kiln opening

2015 Releases “Kannon Riki Cards (Blue/Blue Dragon)”, a collection of Tosaiga works

2016 The first of a now annual solo exhibition is held at the Shingon Buddhist Toji Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

2017 Begins production of works using a glaze called the Flower of Ancient Persia, said to be the most iridescent glaze there is
A book report on “Festival of Life” wins the National School Library Council Director’s Award in the 62nd National Youth Book Report Competition

2018年 “Festival of Life” picture book is included in public school morality class textbooks. Four of the five books in the “Festival of Life” series are adopted for use in public school morality textbooks. A book report on “Festival of Life” wins the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Award in the 63rd National Youth Book Report Competition. For a picture book to be the subject of the winning essay for 2 consecutive years is unusual.
In July, the gallery space “GINZA OKAMI” is set to open on Ginza’s 5 Chome to commemorate 30 years as a Tosaiga ceramic painting artist