Kokaji contributes to local community through ceramic art Interview with Alumni 陶芸活躍で地域貢献図る小梶晴好さん


Mr. Haruyoshi Kokaji, a graduate of Chuo University, serves as secretary general of “Gayoen Togei Kurabu”, a members-only club of ceramic artists based in Hinohara Village in western Tokyo. The village is endowed with natural beauty like Mt. Osawa and Mito Falls. Kokaji, aged 79, is a member of “Hakumon 37 Kai”, a group formed by persons who graduated from the university in 1962 (the 37th year of the Showa era). In an interview with Hakumon Herald, he said he wants to contribute to the local community through ceramic art.

Photo shows some of the ceramic works made by members of Gayoen Togei Kurabu.
Photo shows some of the ceramic works made by members of Gayoen Togei Kurabu.
–Tell us about your Gayoen?

Kokaji: It was founded in 1995 as a membership-based club to offer a place where retired people can meet with each other. Now it has 15 members. About 10 of them are actually active and many of them are couples.

–What do your members do specifically?

Kokaji: Broadly speaking, our club has two objectives. The first is to deepen the relationships between the members who love ceramic art. Recently, the number of participants has been decreasing because of their old age. But we held a general meeting in the spring, an excursion in May, Ajisai (hydrangea) festival in June, and a summer festival and an exhibition of our works at our studio in August.

Our second objective is to contribute to the local community through ceramic art. In the autumn, we invited community residents to our Momiji (autumn leaves) festival and held a charity auction at our exhibition. We donated part of our profit from the sale of our works to the Social Welfare Council of Hinohara Village. We regularly hold pottery classes. Only recently, we invited people from a local nursing home for the elderly and made pottery with them. Needless to say, ceramic art itself is exciting. But it goes beyond that. Our club’s charm is that it enables us to meet and associate with many other people.

I must admit that we are having difficulties taking care of our studio, the place for many people to meet, because our members are aging. Now, we are looking for successors who can take it over. We want younger generations to take care of our studio, which is blessed with a wonderful natural environment.

–Thank you.

(Interviewed by: Yuto Yawata)



小梶 この倶楽部は、1995年に定年後の居場所づくりのために設立された会員制のクラブです。現在、会員は15名で、実際に活動しているのは10名ほどです。夫婦で参加している人が多いです。


小梶 画窯園倶楽部の目標は大きく分けて2つあります。1つは、陶芸を愛する会員相互の親睦を深めることです。最近は会員も高齢になり、参加者も減りましたが、春に総会を開き、5月に行楽イベントを開催し、6月は紫陽花祭り、8月には夏祭りと工房での展示会を開いています。






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