"International exchange of soil and flame!"
This past weekend marked the beginning of the 9th International Ceramics Festival Mino, Japan, a festival spanning a month and a half that aims both to foster international cultural exchange through ceramics and pottery and to create an environment in which the industry can rise to even greater heights. The festival was first held in 1986, and has been held triennially ever since.
The heart of the festival is the "International Ceramics Competition Mino, Japan," which has become an internationally-recognized competition of the highest scale on-par with other such competitions in Italy, Korea, and Taiwan. This year, 2,777 entries by artists from 57 different countries have been accepted and judged, and a total of 190 have been granted Gold, Silver, Bronze, or Special Judges' Awards in various categories. These are all on display at the festival in one place, creating a fantastic setting in which one can see some of the greatest ceramic work from around the world as well as glimpsing some of the worldwide trends shared among artists across the globe.
In addition to this internationally-focused competition, there are many other events held throughout the duration of the festival that are centered around the local ceramic culture of Tono (東濃), the Eastern region of Gifu. The cities of Tajimi (where the competition is held), Mizunami, and Toki are at the center of the Mino Ceramic Ware (or Mino-yaki) industry, one of the oldest and most famous types of ceramics in all of Japan. Thought to originate in the 7th century, ceramics made in the old country of Mino have flourished for well over a thousand years, and even today remain the most-produced type of ceramics in the nation. A major purpose of the festival is therefore to increase awareness of Mino-yaki and the region in which it is created, and so many exhibits displaying local ware, contests in which the most attractive food-plating using Mino-yaki is judged, and the like have been established. The International Ceramics Festival held in Mino is thus a fantastic event to attend where you can appreciate the beauty of pottery from all around the world as well as the indigenous beauty and character of local Mino ceramic ware in the same place. Don't miss it!
Dates: September 16 - October 23
Time: 10:00am - 6:00pm (last entry at 5:30pm)
Venue: Ceramics Park MINO (International Ceramics Competition), Tajimi City, Mizunami City, Toki City
Adults: 1,000 yen (Advance Sale), 1,200 yen (Same Day)
Seniors: 800 yen (Advance Sale), 1,000 yen (Same Day)
Group Discount: 750 yen (Advance Sale), 950 yen (Same Day)
( > 20)
Passport: 2,500 yen (Advance Sale), 3,000 yen (Same Day)
( ^ unlimited admission throughout the duration of the festival)
Access (to Ceramics Park MINO):
Weekdays: JR Bus from JR Tajimi Train Station; get off at "Ceramics Park MINO, Museum of Modern Ceramic Art" stop
Weekend: Kikyou Bus from JR Tajimi Train Station