The Village Potters of Onda
A filmed account of the activities and way of life of Japanese folk potters in Onda, a remote village in the mountains of north central Kyushu. The narration includes a brief description of the personalities and attitudes of the villagers and their social structure. But most importantly, the film provides a detailed account of traditional pottery making techniques, which have remained relatively unchanged for over 250 years, in spite of the rapid industrialization that has taken place in other areas.
Paradoxically, with the spread of industrialization, many people have become aware of the unique qualities contained in most traditional hand-crafted objects, and there is presently underway a world-wide craft movement designed to preserve and promote interest in both traditional and contemporary crafts. Unfortunately, in many areas where authentic folk-ware has been replaced by machine-made objects, few records have been kept of traditional methods of production. As Onda is one of the few areas where the folk pottery of the past is still being produced by traditional means, the film should be of interest to all students of art - especially pottery students, gallery collectors, and connoisseurs, or anyone interested in or curious about this aspect of Japanese culture.
Filmed in Onda by Robert Sperry, potter and Professor of Art at the University of Washington, Seattle. American Film Festival Certificate of Honor, 1966. Reproduced by the American Museum of Ceramic Arts with the permission of the Robert Sperry Estate.