Born in Kyoto, Japan, Unosuke Kawai worked in Kiyomizu-ware at the Muko kiln. He graduated from Kyoto City University of the Arts in 1908 and from Kyoto City Painting College in 1911. While helping with the family business, he drew Nishijin-ori designs, then traveled to Korea from 1922 -1924 to study Joseon-ware. He opened his own Muko kiln in Muko-cho, Kyoto in 1928. He exhibited internationally at the Paris Technology Expo in 1937 and the San Francisco Expo in 1938.