Hamada Tomoo

Hamada Tomoo (b. 1967, Mashiko, Japan) is the second son of Hamada Shinsaku and a grandson of Hamada Shoji. Susan Peterson's 1975 documentary "Shoji Hamada:  A Potter's Way and Work" contains footage of young Tomoo learning pottery directly from his grandfather.

Tomoo studied sculpture at Tama Art University in Tokyo. He has developed a very large following in Japan and this international reputation is growing rapidly thanks to regular exhibits, lectures, and workshops he holds abroad. He was instrumental in rebuilding Mashiko after the devastation of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake.  Since 2012 he has served as the Director of the Shoji Hamada Memorial Mashiko Sankokan Museum. He continues to live and work alongside his father on the original compound his grandfather built in Mashiko.

Tomoo's work builds on the legacy of his grandfather and father in utilizing the same materials and glazes including persimmon-colored kaki, brown tenmoku, cobalt blue, white rice straw ash, bluish-white namako, green seiji, black kurogusuri, creamy nuka, translucent namijiro, and runny-green wood ash, all used to cover a speckled tan clay locally sourced in  Mashiko.

At the same time, however, Tomoo is forging a whole new artistic identity for himself, fueled by his background as a trained sculptor. His shapes are wholly unexpected, whimsical, and daring beyond traditional Mingei Mashiko ware.  A signature element in his repertoire is the extensive application of overglaze enameled decorations and surface textures. 

Beyond the Tochigi Prefectural Museum of Fine Arts, Tomoo's works can be found in premier museums worldwide, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, and the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco.