photo Kyoko Watanabe

Kyoko Watanabe

Cloisonné with wires
I consider objective realism and accuracy as important, and make efforts to invigorate the main motif by a characteristic effect of semitransparent glaze and gradation.

Dei-shippo (opaque clay enamel cloisonné)
Matt enamels must be a very pure mix; ceramic clay and pigment recipes must be faithfully followed. The most difficult technique is the one that makes the maximum use of brass wires and I consider it to be an unavoidable ordeal for the cloisonné artist; the technique corresponds in every detail to a classic book of instructions written during the Tempo era (1830-44), and is a real challenge to complete successfully.

“Traditional crafts will wilt while standing still unless successors outgrow their old selves.”
I have always set much store by this maxim, and it inspires me as an artist engaged in creative activities; I consider it to be the spirit of monozukuri* and it is a constant encouragement to me.


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  • Categories
    Other crafts
  • Honors and Affiliation
    Full member, Japan Kogei Association
  • Other


  • 1980
    Entered the Japan Shippo Instructors Association, and left the following year. Studied alone to date
  • 1983
    Held the Shonan Shippo Crafts Exhibition (from the 31st to 36th
    exhibitions) at Hiratsuka Cultural Festival
  • 1985
    “Photography and Shippo” touring solo exhibition at the Hiratsuka Chuo Public Hall and the Kanagawa Kenmin Hall
    “The Blind Ko-chan – A Record Over 6 Years” featured in the Nippon Camera magazine
  • 1988
    Selected for the Japan Traditional Art Crafts Exhibition for the first time
  • 1990
    “Goodbye – Hiratsuka Shippo Exhibition” at the Hiratsuka Art Salon Fukusuke
  • 1993
    Full member, Japan Kogei Association
    “4 Contemporary Shippo Artists - Works and Essays” featured in the Mind’s Eye magazine
    Studied metal hammering under OKUYAMA Hoseki and SUTO Shotaro
  • 1998
    Started Doro Shippo in preparation for a workshop
    Selected for the Japanese Traditional Metalworks Exhibition for the first time
  • 1999
    Held the Doro Workshop in Tokyo, hosted and lectured by MORI Hideto, chief editor of Cloison Art
  • 2001
    Started the “Watanabe Shippo Museum” touring solo exhibition, exhibiting 130 items to be used in everyday life, at Gallery Shirayuri, Tokyo, Shosenkyo Shippo Museum, Yamanashi, and Sanbancho Gallery, Kawagoe
  • 2002
    “Children’s Lesson Exhibition” at Yagihashi Department Store, Kumagaya
    Lecturer at the “Doro Workshop” hosted by the Sapporo Art Park. Solo exhibition at the Craft Studio
    Commentator at the Shippo Gallery Watanabe
  • 2004
    Selected for the Japanese Traditional Metalworks Exhibition and the Exhibition of New Works of Traditional Art Crafts for the first time
  • 2005
    Held the “Doro Shippo and Yusen Shippo Exhibition” at the Kumagaya Citizen’s Gallery
  • 2007
    Commentary on her website “The World of Shippo”
  • 2011
    Held the “Fukiya Public Hall Solo Exhibition” in Takahashi City, Okayama Prefecture from March to April
    Started on the “Kurotsubaki” series of Doro Shippo works
  • 2014
    Completed the 10th work in the Kurotsubaki series. Selected and awarded at many public exhibitions
    Assisted and participated in the Tsubaki Festival Exhibitions held in various regions. Set out on a touring exhibition in order to spread the art of Shippo Awarded successively at the Shinshou Kogei Exhibition


  • 1992
    Received the Asahi Shimbun Prize at the Japan Traditional Art Crafts 7th Section Exhibition
  • 1993
    Received the Kanagawa Shimbun Award at the Exhibition of New Works of Traditional Art Crafts
  • 2011
    Received the Japan Kogei Association Award at the Traditional Art Crafts Miscellaneous Crafts Exhibition
    Received numerous other awards at public exhibitions