Thursday, March 29, 2012

AMAKUSA YAKI (天草焼き)-Ceramics of Kumamoto Prefecture

Uchisarayama-yaki is from Kumamoto Prefecture which falls under Amakusa Pottery which began in the 17th century.

This is is one of the kinds of pottery that falls under the Amakusa umbrella of Pottery.

AKAHADA YAKI (赤肌焼き)-Ceramics of Nara Prefecture

Kumidashi tea cups by Hiraku Ogawa Kiln

Akahada Mark
Akahada Pottery is from Nara Prefecture which began in 1573. It was one of the seven kilns favored by the great tea master Kobori Enshu. The most common design of AKAHADA is probably the simplistic drawings in primary colors of common life including houses, people, flowers and animals. The drawings are referred to as Nara-e, or Nara pictures.

Friday, March 23, 2012

MIKAMO YAKI (みかも焼き)-Ceramics of Tochigi Prefecture

Mikamo-yaki is a pottery of Tochigi Prefecture.  It is grouped with Mashiko-yaki.

Konara Kiln

MASHIKO YAKI (益子焼き)-Ceramics of Tochigi Prefecture

Interesting links:

SHIMAOKA TATSUZO (島岡達三) 1919-2007
Living National Treasure (LNT Ningen Kokuho 1996) Mashiko, for his cord-marked ceramics with slip inlay. He apprenticed with Shoji Hamada. 

These three cups are unmarked but by every indication are the work of Shimaoka Tatsuzo. Although most of his works are marked with the タ mark, according to an expert in Japanese ceramics (RY) there are pieces, especially those of his earlier years, that are unmarked. These are most likely from the 1960's -1970's.

 HAMADA SHINSAKU (second son of Shoji Hamada) 1929~

There was no box with this when I bought it but the style, motif and nuka glaze is classic Shinsaku.

(Most likely-no box or mark)

MURATA GEN (村田元) 1904-1988

This faceted bottle/vase is nuka glaze with iron brushwork.
Murata Gen is one of the greatest Mashiko potters. He studied with Hamada Shoji. 

Mashiko-yaki tea bowl with Hakeme brushwork with pool of green glaze


I found this flask in a second hand shop, without a mark, box or identification papers. Interstingly enough I found matching cups in another second hand shop. Because of the color and similar styles in the pottery of Okinawa I originally placed them in that category. I have recently discovered similar "ring" shaped flasks categorized as Mashiko, one with the box with Mashiko written on it. I will now place this flask and matching guinomi in the Mashiko category. It is an unusual shape even for Mashiko. I hope to find out more about this  style and will post when I know more. I do know that Mashiko potters, especially Shoji Hamada, did draw influence from Tsuboya yaki, the pottery of Okinawa.


Murasawa Hiroshi Kiln 村澤浩

Murasawa Hiroshima kiln 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

BANKO YAKI (万古焼き)-Ceramics of Mie Prefecture

Bankoyaki is pottery from Mie Prefecture.  This is also called Yokkaichi Banko. A pottery merchant, Nunami Rozan, started a kiln near Ise Shrine 1736 and 1741. Annnelise Crueger, in her book "Modern Japanese Ceramics" p. 158, gives a brief but clear history. Rozan was summoned to Edo (Tokyo) to be the potter for the shogun. His work is called Ko-Banko, or old Banko.  He had no successor, but years later Mori Yusetsu bought the Banko seal from the family and began a kiln in Mie Prefecture where he created the light tea ware that became popular in the 1800's. Now days it is most famous for brown tea pots and the cookware for nabemono.

The Banko pottery that westerners are more familiar with was produced for export in Tokyo in the late 1800's through the mid 1900's. This Banko, also known as Asakusa Banko, is grouped with Sumida ware, and Poo ware. These are the Banko vases with the 3D carved shrine designs, as well as the "see, hear and speak no evil" monkey figurines. 

Earthy Banko-yaki kyusuu tea pot
I have seen a book on Amazon "Fanciful Images: Japanese Banko Ceramics" by Barry Till.  I have not read it but thought I would  put it out there for those interested in Banko.

Banko-yaki makes a lot of everyday ware in Mishima design.  The kiln name for this piece is Ginpo.

Seishu Gama 勢州窯  太楽老作

Banko export ware Made in Japan mark

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