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A Movie? - Why not?

Sometimes, when I look at a painting or hold an object in my hands, I fall into a dreamlike state. I dream of long-ago events, faraway people, and objects that are close and dear. These dreams are like movies. One day, I will make one of these movies real. Perhaps this one, about a Kamakura Kintsugi teabowl.


Dreams in Clay



At fourteen, far from home and toiling in a pottery shop in Tokyo’s prestigious Ginza, young Kuroda Ryoji dreams of owning his own shop. Thirty years later, after enduring monumental hardships and relentless work, he opens Kuroda Totoen, transforming it into one of Japan’s most influential ceramic galleries. Central to his journey is a Kamakura period teabowl, repaired with kintsugi, beauty in brokenness and resilience.



Set against the vibrant backdrop of Tokyo’s Ginza district, Dreams in Clay follows the incredible true story of Kuroda Ryoji (1905-1987). At just fourteen, Ryoji is sent away from his rural home to work in a prestigious pottery shop. Amid the hustle and bustle of early 20th-century Tokyo, young Ryoji finds solace in the delicate art of ceramics, nurturing a dream that seems almost impossible: to one day open his own pottery shop in Ginza.

As the years roll by, Ryoji faces immense challenges. The Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 devastates the city, World War II brings unimaginable hardships, and the post-war era demands resilience like never before. Yet, through every trial, Ryoji’s passion for pottery and his unwavering dream guide him forward.

A significant symbol throughout his journey is a teabowl from the Kamakura period, repaired with lacquer and gold, Kintsugi - a Japanese art form that mends broken pottery. This teabowl, passed down through generations, embodies the philosophy that something broken can be made even more beautiful. It serves as a metaphor for Ryoji’s life, illustrating how his own struggles and hardships have shaped him into a master dealer.

After three decades of relentless perseverance, Ryoji finally opens Kuroda Totoen. His gallery quickly becomes a beacon of artistic excellence, showcasing the finest ceramics and influencing generations of artists. The Kamakura teabowl, housed in a box inscribed by Ryoji himself, becomes a centerpiece of the gallery – a testament to his journey and the beauty of resilience.

Why Watch

Dreams in Clay is not just a film about ceramics; it’s a profound human story that will resonate with anyone who has ever had a dream. It’s a visual and emotional journey through one of the most dynamic periods in Japanese history, anchored by the inspiring true story of Kuroda Ryoji. The film promises breathtaking visuals, heartfelt performances, and a narrative that celebrates the relentless pursuit of artistic excellence. The inclusion of the Kamakura Kintsugi Teabowl adds a rich layer of symbolism, representing the beauty found in overcoming adversity and the enduring strength of the human spirit.


In the movie, the Kamakura Kintsugi Teabowl could be introduced as a cherished heirloom or a treasured piece that Ryoji encounters early in his career. It serves as a recurring symbol, with scenes showing Ryoji holding the bowl looking at it and drinking from it, drawing parallels to his own life being pieced together through resilience and determination. The final scene could feature Ryoji placing the bowl in a beautifully inscribed box, signifying the completion of his journey and the legacy he leaves behind.



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