The Successor of Kakiemon

The Story of the Kakiemon Porcelain Dynasty

How does one take over a company that is four centuries old and has been run by one’s father, his father’s father and so on. Here is the unique story of such a time capsule where we witness how a modern-day Japanese family that has transformed everyday pottery into the world famous mythical Kakiemon porcelain and preserves its traditions, now passes on the leadership to their only son. Is he up to the task that lies ahead? What’s at stake if this successor does not succeed?

Kakiemon, one of the most refined types of porcelain, was developed in the 17th century by ceramist Sakaida Kakiemon. Today, the production, entirely handmade and handpainted is still owned by his direct descendants. Keeping this tradition alive is more than just reproducing craft. It is somewhat a statement against modernity end massproduction. After periods of isolation and expansion, wars, nuclear bombs and now a devastating earthquake, this Japanese family is clinging to tradition – no matter how fragile it is.


Director: Suzanne Raes
Producer: Submarine
Co-Producer: NTR
Running Time: 49 min
Release: IDFA 2012


Director: Suzanne Raes
Producer: Submarine
Co-Producer: NTR
Running Time: 49 min
Release: IDFA 2012


Director: Suzanne Raes
Producers: Femke Wolting & Bruno Felix
Benito Strangio
Sound, sound design and mixing: Alex Booy
Film editor: Elja de Lange
Music: Wouter van Bemmel
Interpreter and production Japan: Judith de Weert
Colour grading: Martin Klein
Translation interviews: Evelien Smolders & Judith de Weert
Translation and subtitling: Geert van Bremen
Production assistant: Roos de Ridder
Publicity: Yaniv Wolf
Title design: Christiaan de Rooij
Advice: Peter Delpeut, Anthon Fasel, Menno Fitski, Heddy Honigmann & Chiaki Sakaida
Line producer: Ilja Roomans
Commissioning editor NTR: Oscar van der Kroon

Special thanks to:City of Arita, Kyushu Ceramic Museum, Kyushu National Museum, NHK, Bart van den Broek, Dorine Dieleman, Aliona van der Horst, Fabie Hulsebos, Janneke van de Kerkhof, Nobuyuki Murakami, Ayako Nishibori, Lieke van den Ouwelant, Jan Röfekamp, Jetse Sprey, Yan Ting Yuen, Amy Westervelt

A Submarine film in co-production with NTR
with the support of Mediafonds and CoBO

All Rights Reserved