Aoyagi Takashi makes the inkstones for grinding the sumi ink used in calligraphy, the art of writing with brush and ink. Aoyagi not only carves these inkstones, but goes deep into the mountains to look for stones that will become one-of-a-kind pieces. He uses all five senses to bring out the unique characteristics of each, which is why he can only produce ten a year. He talks about his craft and his dedication to keeping the tradition of writing with brush and ink alive despite the rise of digital communication.
Aoyagi is one of only 20 artisans in Japan who create inkstones. He is actively involved in every step of the process.
Aoyagi's artistry is widely recognized. He exhibits regularly and has published a photo collection of his work.
Stones suitable for inkstones are very rare, which is why Aoyagi goes looking for them himself. In 2018, he finally found a new mineral vein.