Since many years Kutani potters and painters have established associations and unions in order to developp and promote their activities. Some associations are very famous and have or have had very well known celebrities. Of course some of these associations are not limited to Kutani and encompass all type of ceramics or art and craft.

Regarding exhibitions, it is quite similar, a lot of exhibitions are organized or promoted either by local governments or communities, by private organizations, by almost all Japanese big department stores, and finally by the Japanese government itself.

It is quite difficult for a foreigner to understand and appreciate among the huge number of exhibitions promoted by so many different organizations which one is important and shall be considered as a reference .

Amongst all these events we find at least two big families. The exhibitions sponsored by the Ishikawa Prefecture and most of the Kutani artists Associations, especially in Terai, which are more orientated toward keeping the spirit of Kutani and or showing Kutani wares produced by famous artists from the past and on the other side the exhibitions which are rather representative of the modern art. May be the most famous of all, the Japan Fine Arts Exhibitions which is well known under the name of Nitten fell under this last family.

This national exhibition started in Tokyo in 1907 and took the name of Nitten in 1958. It is hold annually in autumn in the Tokyo Metropolitan Arts Museum in Ueno. Then the exhibition visits the main cities of Japan. Most of the famous potters are attending this exhibition.

There is however one important point that one shall consider, some potters or painters simply do not want to follow this established system which is mainly based on a mediatique or commercial approach and therefore reject any idea of exhibition. They just rely on their technique, art, or feeling and only concentrate on their own way of celebrating the art of making kutani ceramics. Therefore the fact that some painters have accumulated numerous prizes shall be compensated by the others who are famous only amongst the connoisseurs and who do not beneficiate from the supports of private company or commercial organizations.


As explained here above there are many types of exhibitions which give some sort of prizes or recognition to the exhibits. The most favored is certainly the special prize given at Nitten every year.