‘Made in Japan’ and beyond – Exploring the recent past of the Japanese ceramic figurine industry through creative practice: Paper presented as part of the 'Archaeologies of Now' Session, Society of Post-Medieval Archaeology, University of Glasgow, 22-24 March 2019.

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Although pottery has been made in Seto, Japan, since at least the Muromachi Period (c.1336-1573), it is the ceramic figurine industry for which this manufacturing centre is best known. From religious icons to depictions of Mickey Mouse, Elvis Presley and JFK, these slip-cast figurines constitute a material record of post-war economic recovery, embodying changing tastes throughout the second half of the twentieth century. However, there is a threat to this cultural heritage, and its associated tacit knowledge, as former factories are steadily being demolished and the related material culture, including plaster moulds, samples and design archives, is increasingly being discarded. This paper will discuss how I have attempted to raise awareness of this marginalised heritage resource through my creative ceramics practice. Influenced by archaeological approaches to the contemporary past, this study has involved the collection and remediation of redundant material culture to create a new body of ceramic artwork.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2019
EventPost-Medieval Archaeology Congress 2019, University of Glasgow: Archaeologies of Now session - University of Glasgow, Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: 22 Mar 201924 Mar 2019


ConferencePost-Medieval Archaeology Congress 2019, University of Glasgow
CountryUnited Kingdom
Internet address



  • post-medieval
  • archaeology
  • art and design

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