What is SASAMA International Ceramic Art Festival?
In 2011, the SASAMA International Ceramic Art Festival (ICAF SASAMA) was the first interntional festival in Japan to offer ceramic artists and ceramic lovers from around the world the opportunity to mingle through various interactivie events.
In Europe and the U.S.A., there are many international ceramics festivals where ceramic artists perform.
Whereas, here in Japan, a home of ceramic culture, before 2011, such an event had never been held.
The venue, Sasama (Shizuoka, JAPAN) is a scenic mountain village, surrounded by abundant nature that is known as a production area of high-quality green tea. Moreover, the traditional local Japanese way of life still exists here.
However, tin the past few decades, the village has experienced a problem with young people leaving and consequently it has an increasingly older population.
The idea of the ICAF arose from an encounter between Sasama residents who wanted to leave their beautiful village to the next generation and Shozo Michikawa who wanted to make an opportunity for young Japanese ceramists to inspire each other and exchange ideas with international artists.
Since then, the festival has been held every 2 years and the organizers have invited ceramic artists from all over the world.
The invited artists give demonstrations and slide lectures during the festival. Moreover, all artists who attend to the festival exhibit their works in the village. The festival offers not only an opportunity to learn about innovations in ceramics and learn new techniques but also to meet locals and to experience traditional Japanese culture.
We hope the festival will be the opportunity for everyone to meet new people and new culture.
What king of place is Sasama?
Sasama is a village hidden among the green mountains of Shizuoka prefecture.
Not an easy place to reach, you will have to change trains a couple of times before arriving. You can enjoy the peaceful atmosphere created by the forests, and the river, and from here you can see high tea fields scattered between houses and the mountain side.
In this paradise on earth about 400 people are living. The age average is quite high and the decreasing population issue is real.
Daily life in the village is lively. If you take a walk, you will probably see some locals sitting in front of their houses chatting and laughing together. It is highly possible that they will start talking with you even if you don’t speak Japanese.
The life in Sasama is not rich materially but the richness is somewhere else. The local warmth is what makes this place so great.
We hope you will appreciate it.