The Successor of Kakiemon: The Story of the Kakiemon Porcelain Dynasty

I’m not usually the one bringing over videos or short films on to the blog, Daniel, my partner in crime, usually has that base covered. He’s got a great eye for sniffing out the best in the film department, whether that be on Vimeo or through other parts of the web. But today I think I might have pipped him to the post, I discovered this short trailer for an upcoming movie named ‘The Successor of Kakiemon’.

At first I was a bit worried that it wouldn’t be a long enough piece for you to pick up inspiration from it, but after watching it seemed like a great little documentary that you should all be looking out for in the near future. It grabbed me with its complex story and amazing up-close shots of the workshop where all the craftsman are handmaking and painting ceramics.

This films subject and story is quite unique and focuses on how a modern-day Japanese family that has transformed everyday pottery into the world famous Kakiemon porcelain, now passes on the leadership to their only son. It’s quite revealing how he talks about his worries when taking over and the fact that he doesn’t feel talented enough. I didn’t actually know too much about Kakiemon so I decided to do a little bit of research myself. It’s one of the most refined types of porcelain and was developed in the 17th century by ceramist Sakaida Kakiemon, today the production, which is entirely handmade and hand-painted, is still owned by his direct descendants.

To be honest I don’t want to really spill the beans on the story line etc, because I think this is going to make you think about tradition in itself and the pressures that this individual will have when inheriting the family business. It’s also very inspring how they’ve kept up the family work for so many years, through the struggles of isolation, expansion, wars, nuclear bombs, and now a devastating earthquake, there’s a lot riding on it. Watch on below and see what you think, I have to commend Dutch company Submarine for some fantastic filming and Suzanne Raes on the direction.


Special discounts on OEN Shops curated collection

  • Exclusive behind-the-scenes content
  • Early access to content from our OEN publication
  • Deep dive into design concepts
  • Curated guides to the worlds top art and design cities
Become a patron at Patreon!
This content is available exclusively to members of OEN Patreon at $5 or more.