The Japan Foundation’s traveling exhibition “YAKISHIME – Earth Metamorphosis” will begin its Philippine tour in BGC at the Metropolitan Museum of Manila, on show from July 4-31, 2024.

Yakishime refers to a unique Japanese ceramics technique known for its unglazed, high-fired wares, celebrated for their natural aesthetics.

“This exhibition introduces yakishime ceramics, which developed distinctively in Japan as part of its traditional culture,” says exhibition curator Mieko Iwai. “It explores the history of yakishime from its origins to the present, its use in tea wares, utensils for serving food, and its emergence as objets d’art. It will offer visitors from other cultures, unfamiliar with these simple yet profoundly tasteful ceramics, an excellent opportunity to experience a sensibility and aesthetic unique to Japan.” Touring the world since 2016, the exhibition features objects that span the chronicles of yakishime. Prominently showcased in the exhibition are utilitarian earthenware, the earliest being from the pre-feudal Heian period (794–1185), as well as tea wares from the Momoyama period (1574–1600). Also highlighted are yakishime as contemporary forms of art, including works from noted Japanese ceramicists Takashi Ikura, Kyoko Tokumaru, and Makiko Hattori.

“We are excited to bring these cultural treasures from Japan to a Filipino audience,” says Ben Suzuki, Director of The Japan Foundation, Manila. “This aspect of Japanese culture may not be familiar to many people, so we hope that experiencing yakishime will reveal another side of Japan that people can truly appreciate.”

After its run at the Metropolitan Museum of Manila, the exhibition will move to Iloilo, where it will be hosted by the Iloilo Museum of Contemporary Art (ILOMOCA) starting in August.

This exhibition is supported by the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines

Admission to the exhibition’s run at the Metropolitan Museum of Manila is free. The exhibition will also feature hands-on workshops and special events, which will be announced on The Japan Foundation, Manila official website ( and their social media platforms. Follow them for more information.

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