Tetsu Yamada (1898-1971) was born in Gifu prefecture and became priest. In 1932, he started creating pottery in Kyoto. He is known as a founding member of Sodeisha, an avant-garde movement in modern Japanese ceramics. Their work was characterized by biomorphic and slab-built geometric forms. An emphasis on the sculptural as opposed to the functional meant that typically their pieces didn't have holes, or 'mouths', that might allow the work in question to be seen as a vase or pot. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, the works of Klee, Miro and Picasso were an influence on members of the group, as were the ceramics produced by Isamu Noguchi.