Toshichi Iwata

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Toshichi Iwata
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Nihonbashi, Tokyo
OccupationGlass artist

Toshichi Iwata (岩田 藤七, Iwata Tōshichi, 1893-1980) was a Japanese glass artist considered to be the founding father of modern art glass making in Japan. Active from 1927 until his death, he created unique studio works as well as production pieces. During his life time, he was considered to be Japan's foremost authority on modern glass craft.[1]


Iwata was born in 1893 in Nihonbashi, Tokyo.[2] He attended the Tokyo School of Fine Arts for twelve years, where he studied metal work and Western oil painting, graduating in 1918 from the metal craft department and earning a BA in Western oil painting in 1923. It was during this time that he became interested in crafting art glass and ultimately chose to pursue a career as a glass artist. Iwata next studied under Imamura Shigezo at the Tachibana Glass Factory. In 1947 he and his wife founded the Iwata Glass Industrial Company where factory art glass was produced by workers and unique pieces were produced by members of the Iwata family.


Iwata exhibited his work at the Nitten National Exhibition, before and after the Second World War. He served as an exhibition judge there later in life. Iwata received the Japan Art Academy Prize in 1951. In 1972 he founded the Japan Glass Art and Crafts Association. He was awarded the Order of the Sacred Treasure in 1980 by the Emperor for his lifetime of devotion to the arts.

Public collections

His works have been collected by the The National Museums of Modern Art, in Tokyo and Kyoto. Several of his pieces are held in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.[3][4] A survey of his work in book form[5] was published in Japan in 1993.

Personal Life

The oldest son of Toshichi Iwata, Hisatoshi Iwata, was also a well known glass artist as was Hisatoshi's wife, Itoko.[6][7][8]


  1. Japan Illustrated, April 1972, Volume 10 No. 2, pages 28-31. The Japan Times, publisher.
  2. "Library Collection Search | Corning Museum of Glass".
  3. "Vase ca. 1955".
  4. "Jar with lid".
  5. Takeda, Asushi, Toshichi Iwata Glass Art, Mitsumura Suiko Shoin, Kyoto, Japan, 1993, 264 pages.
  6. Byars, Mel; N.Y.), Museum of Modern Art (New York (2004). The Design Encyclopedia. Laurence King. ISBN 9781856693493.
  7. "Iwata Toshichi, Hisatoshi and Itoko: The Pioneers of Japanese Modern Glass Art from the Collection of Machida City Museum". Tokyo Art Beat.
  8. "岐阜県現代陶芸美術館 | Iwata Toshichi, Hisatoshi and Itoko: The Pioneers of Japanese Modern Glass Art from the Collection of Machida City Museum". (in 日本語).

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