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Ink Stone craftsman 『Nagura Hozan』

Ink Stone craftsman 『Nagura Hozan』

Suzuri (Inkstone) Specialty Shop: Homei-do
Inkstone (suzuri) specialty shop Homei-do Inkstone Shop has had a workshop and a shop in Horai-ji Temple’s main street for about 130 years, and is now a long-established shop specializing in inkstones carved by 5th Generation, Mr. Nagura Hozan.

History of Homei-do
Since the 1st Generation, Horaiji inkstones have been made using stones produced at the foot of Mt. Horaiji, but from the 4th Generation, stones produced in Japan and China have been used as raw materials.
The current head of the family, 5th Generation Nagura Hozan, continues the research while focusing on his own pursuit of modeling, and is making efforts to acquire the status of contemporary Japanese inkstone as a work of art.

Origin of Horaiji Inkstone
It is said that the inkstone of Mt. Horaiji has a history of 1,300 years. Inkstone making was once stopped due to the collapse of the Shogunate, but with the increase in demand for educational inkstones in the 20s of the Meiji Period (around 1887), the making of inkstones with a new vein of Kinpo stone was resumed, and the history of making inkstones at Homei-do began.

4th Generation Hozan (1922~1998)
By making full use of the outstanding inkstone carving technique, he pursued a modern form.
In addition, he spent more than 30 years traveling to the production areas all over Japan listed in the ‘Wakan Kenpu, Kansei Year 9 Publication’. He was the first Japanese inkstone carving artist to write a research book, ‘Japanese Inkstones’.
After that, he continued to research the inkstones of Korea and China, whilst also producing inkstones, but he died in the middle of his ambition.

Heisei Period Hozan (5th Generation)
5th Generation Nagura Hozan (1953~) Inkstone to the Realm of Art

He studied at the Department of Fine Arts, Aichi Prefectural Asahigaoka High School, and the Department of Sculpture, Faculty of fine arts, Tokyo University of the Arts, learning the basics of three-dimensional modeling, and on graduating studied under his father, 4th Generation Hozan. He learned a wide range of traditional inkstone carving techniques and culture. Striving to improve his skills, he has been actively presenting his works at public exhibitions and solo exhibitions since around 1980. He has paved his way for creativity in the 1,300-year history of Japanese inkstone production.
In 1997, he received the Japan Kogei Association Encouragement Award at the 44th Japan Traditional Crafts Exhibition. This was the first award in the field of inkstones, and the work was purchased by the Agency for Cultural Affairs (Tokyo National Museum Collection) for the first time in the history of Japanese inkstones.
An inkstone with freshness and beauty that is different from the functional beauty and the beauty of works of art. He is continuing his creative path to move from ‘calligraphy tools’ to ‘arts and crafts’ in a new era of culture and art in a Japanese style that is not Tang style of China.
In addition, based on the 4th Generation’s book ‘Japanese Inkstones’ and the inkstone specialized books in his collection, he proceeded with stone materials research from the standpoint of the inkstone maker, and actively made inkstones with Chinese stone materials (Tankei Stone, Kyuju Stone, etc.)

Inkstone Sculptor 5th Generation Nagura Hozan

Brief Career Summary
1953   Born in Horai Town (currently Shinshiro City), Aichi Prefecture as the eldest son of 4th Generation Nagura Hozan (Masayasu)
1972   Graduated from Aichi Prefectural Asahigaoka High School, Department of Fine Arts
1977   Graduated from Tokyo University of the Arts, Department of Sculpture
2003   Succeeded to the title 5th Generation Hozan
2010   Designated as an intangible cultural asset of Shinshiro City

Award History
1999   21st Urban Culture Encouragement Award recipient
2003   Aichi Prefectural Arts and Culture Award, Culture Award recipient
2013   33rd Traditional Culture POLA Award, Regional Award recipient
2015   38th Kokoukai Award from Aichi Prefectural Asahigaoka High School recipient

Japanese Traditional Kogei (Crafts) Exhibition
1981   Selected for the 28thJapan Traditional Kogei Exhibition (Hereafter, continued selection)
1988   Became a regular member of the Japan Kogei Association
2004   Audit Committee member of the 51st Japan Traditional Kogei Exhibition
2008   Audit Committee member of the 55th Japan Traditional Kogei Exhibition
2014   Became a special artist (invited) from the 61st Japan Traditional Kogei Exhibition

Awards at the Japan Traditional Kogei (Crafts) Exhibition
1997   44th Japan Traditional Kogei Exhibition
     Japan Kogei Association, Encouragement Award recipient
     Work purchased by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Tokyo National Museum Collection
2013   60th Japan Traditional Kogei Exhibition
     Japan Kogei Association, Encouragement Award recipient

In addition, many other awards such as the Traditional Crafts, Crafts Subcommittee Exhibition, and the Tokai Traditional Kogei (Crafts) Exhibition

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