Director’s Message

I began my career as a curator in April 1983, five months after the opening of The Museum of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka in November 1982. Around forty years have passed since then and those years have been a turbulent time for Japan. There was a turning point in the economy, with the burst of the economic bubble followed by a period of recession known as the Lost Decade. Japan also faced unprecedented disasters, particularly the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake and the Great East Japan Earthquake, and the spread of the global pandemic COVID-19. Going through such unusual circumstances, The Museum of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka as a museum facility has gradually been changing both its tangible and intangible aspects with the times. And now the Museum is under major renovation of the entrance hall and other parts of the facility, scheduled to reopen in the Fall of 2023. We appreciate your patience for a little longer period of closure.

Suggested by the English common noun “china” that refers to ceramics in general, the production techniques of ceramics have developed to a high degree in Mainland China. Its influence extended to a wide area, including the Korean Peninsula, the northern Vietnam region, and the Japanese Archipelago. The products developed their original, regional characteristics. Along with this East Asian region, ceramic production also developed in Southeast Asia, including the land of Khmer culture, Thailand, and Myanmar, as well as in the Islamic world such as Iran (Persia) and Turkey. Asian ceramics, produced in these areas, stand at one of the pinnacles of ceramics as works of art.。

The Museum of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka was established by Osaka City to commemorate the donation of the Ataka Collection, mainly comprising Chinese and Korean ceramics, to the city by the twenty-one companies of the Sumitomo Group. Since then, the Museum has been receiving more donations of ceramic works from various regions and times, including the Rhee Byung-chang Collection of Korean ceramics, while also purchasing Japanese ceramics and other ceramic works of art. In recent years, the Museum has been working to further enrich its collection, particularly by the acquisition of modern and contemporary works. Although the Museum’s collection does not fully cover the ceramics of every region and period, it is no exaggeration to say that our Museum is a world-class facility that holds and exhibits a substantial collection of Asian ceramics of high artistic quality.

The curators and all our staff strive to create exhibition environments that can fully bring out the charm of ceramics. Paying attention to the educational aspect whenever producing an exhibition, and also working harmoniously with local citizens, we will continue to produce unforgettable museum experiences for people of every generation. When our Museum reopens, please do visit our exhibitions and find your favorite piece of work. That will open doors for your interest in ceramics, which may guide you to lifelong learning activities. I believe that, by lending a hand to fulfill such interests, the Museum will contribute to creating an even more enriched society.

April 2022
MORIYA Masashi
The Museum of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka