Introduction of PETAL Kamakura gallery by Joel Pulliam

My dear friend Joel Pulliam who is active in the front line of photography in Japan kindly wrote a newsletter about PETAL Gallery in the spring time.I hope his article will be a good trigger for foreigners who are interested in potteries to visit us.Thank you again to Joel for his insightful discussion.
Please check his beautiful works on his site as well.

His Instagram can be found at here

Joel Pulliam writes a popular newsletter about photography and other arts. In the April 2023 issue, he discusses a visit to Petal Kamakura:


Spring is a time for beginnings. This month, my friend Chiaki Shahani opened a new pottery gallery, Petal Kamakura.

Chiaki curates pottery made by artists from throughout Japan. The pieces are crafted by hand using traditional techniques specific to different regions of the country. Each reflects the maker’s personal aesthetic, yet all the pieces feel comfortable and approachable, in line with Chiaki’s style and vision.

On a bright April morning, I went to visit and to talk with Chiaki. She is at home in Kamakura and her gallery is next to the train station there, but she travels frequently, to meet pottery artists and to understand their work. She told me stories about each piece that caught my eye—how the artist obtained the clay, for example, or how the piece was fired.

We also discussed how different items might be used. A long slender dish might be equally suitable for serving sushi or for a spread of cheese. These are items not simply to admire, but to be used, to be a part of a daily table, to make a home with.

I took home a pair of cups from my visit. They were made by Yagihasha Noboru, who works in Shiga prefecture. Drinking from one, I find myself noticing its small details: how its colors catch the light, how it feels in my hand. As I do, I relax and begin to also pay more attention to the world around me.

If you want to learn about Japanese pottery, or if you are looking for something beautiful for your own home, do visit Petal Kamakura if you can. Or, reach out to Chiaki—she speaks both English and Japanese.

Joel’s full newsletter can be found at