Glazed Pots by Ino Shukuho

The glazed and painted bonsai pots of contemporary Japanese potter Ino Shukuho are some of the best one can find for the money, in the same price bracket as more well known potters Kouyo and Ikkou. His glazed pots are especially magnificient, showing clear influences of Tofukuji and Aiso, while his painted pots are nice as well, showing the influence of traditional Kyoto painted ware.

Born February 13, 1943, in Kyoto, Japan. His pots are completely handmade, and according to Yoshoen, his pottery techniques limit production to a maximum of 3-4 pots daily. The vast majority of his pots are rectangles or squares, ovals are few and far between.

12.8 x 9.8 x 4.2 cm Copyright Yorozuen

12.8 x 9.8 x 4.2 cm Copyright Yorozuen

22 x 17.1 x 3.7 cm Copyright Yorozuen

10.8 x 8.5 x 2.8 cm Copyright Yorozuen

The above 4 pots are typical of Ino’s style of pot with Oribe and green glazes with various other glaze highlights. The silver overglaze speckling on these is an Ino signature move, as we’ve seen in previous posts, a clear homage to Tofukuji. One of my favorite things about these pots, they’re clearly artistic, with myriad coloration and bright splashes, but they never seem to overwhelm the trees that are in them. One can see numerous examples of a host of different species planted in this glaze style Ino pot in Gafu Ten Exhibition books.

10.6 x 7.5 x 4 cm Copyright Yorozuen

An atypical white glazed pot with blue glaze highlights.

10.5 x 7.2 x 3.2 cm Copyright Yorozuen

A marvelous red and green bi-color pot with some very light blue accenting on the red side. A very thick glaze on this pot, if youd told me it was made by Aiso, Imaoka, or Tofukuji, I would believe it!

14.4 x 7 cm Copyright Yorozuen

Light blue glaze square with fancy feet and excellent patina. The richness and depth in this blue is outstanding!

12.8 x 9.8 x 4.2 cm Copyright Yorozuen

A very nice indigo glaze with indented corners. Once again, the glaze is rich and deep.

14.8 x 12.5 x 5.9 cm Copyright Yorozuen

11.2 x 9 x 3.3 cm Copyright Yorozuen

Two yellow glazed pots, the clarity and brightness of the yellow is eye catching. Although yellows and bright reds dont seem to be popular here in the west, in Japan theyre more common. I dont think anyones collection is complete without a few loud yellows!

11 x 8.4 x 4.9 cm Copyright Yorozuen

Another one I’d guess was a Tofukuji if I didnt know better. Thick baby blue glaze and a very nice patina.

12.8 x 9.8 x 4.2 cm Copyright Yorozuen

8.4 x 6.6 x 4 cm Copyright Yorozuen

6.6 x 4.3 x 2 cm Copyright Yorozuen

7.3 x 4.7 x 2.6 cm Copyright Yorozuen

A few of the sometsuke of Ino. As you can see, his painting pots dont rival the greats of his time in detail and quality, but they have their own charms. The plum blossoms in the first pot are very detailed and well presented. I also really like the tree details in the second and third pots, and the horseman in the last pot. One thing that gets me about his sometsuke is that the feet and rims are rarely painted(first pot exception excluded!)two details that I value highly in looking at quality painting pots.

I hope you enjoyed seeing a few pots by master potter Ino Shukuho. In the next post Ill take a look at a few more pots, and maybe a tree or two, from my collection, and then on to a feature on “Bang for you buck” potters, at the requests of a few fellow posters and bloggers….You know who you are!


About japanesepots

I've been collecting Japanese Bonsai pots for a few years, and feel that the famous, and some of the lesser known but great Japanese pot artists could do with a little more writing and exposure in English. Additionally, this blog will feature My own And others bonsai for discussion. The purpose of this blog is to further knowledge of Japanese pottery and Japanese style bonsai. If you have any questions about Japanese bonsai pottery, or would like to acquire pots by some of the potters presented in the blog, feel free to email me at
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12 Responses to Glazed Pots by Ino Shukuho

  1. bonsaijapan says:

    I almost bought one of Shukuho’s green pots last time i was in Japan and have been kicking myself ever since for not doing it. Hopefully next trip i will be able to correct that mistake.

    I cant wait to see your bang for buck post, it will be interesting to see who you feature. There are a lot of potters that dont get a lot of air time yet produce some beautiful pots.

    Until then,


    • japanesepots says:

      Joe, you’ve seem these pots in person, so for everyone else…that’s a hard kick 😉
      This is one of those potters whose work really doesn’t translate in photographs. A good multicolor Ino green with a light crackle and patina is a real thing to behold in person…if you’re a pothead!

      • bonsaijapan says:

        Pothead… that has other meanings here in Australia ;). But on a more serious note you are right, they are very beautiful pots. The are quite similar to Koyo’s green glazes but instead of the blue flecks and spots you have the silver ones. The more i read this post the more i feel i need one.

        This blog is going to be bad for my wallet.

  2. japanesepots says:

    But bonsai potheads spend way more money than the other kind! If only you could grow them too…
    Yeah, Joe, indeed, my bank account(and wife!) curse the guy who got me into the high end. Shoot me an email if you’re interested in picking one up before Japan, a couple of my suppliers always have a few around To sell.

    • bonsaijapan says:

      Thanks for the offer Ryan. I probably shouldnt buy anyhting until i hit Japan but if i cant wait i will definately let you know.


  3. Frank Cucchiara says:

    Just want to thank you for a Great Blog !

  4. Randy Davis says:

    I would like to know if you have any information about the Japanese Pot maker MIZUKAMI Shinji. I have an old suiban container by him and would like to know more about his history as a Bonsai container maker in Japan.

    • japanesepots says:

      Hi Randy, pots made by Mizukami Shinji are also known as Suishoen Hekisui. I don’t know any.
      Details, other than he was from Tokoname and made pots for the Tokoname Yuyaku co-op. The good news is, the president of the Yuyaku is a very nice and helpful fellow(he grew up in the pottery community, and was childhood friends with one of my favorite potters, Ikkou!)
      You can drop him a line with your questions about Hekisui pots at

  5. Derek says:

    Hello Ryan,
    How do you tell the difference between the different generations of Shukuho pots? I was told there we 3 generations but all the pots and stamps look like they are from the same maker?
    Thanks and best regards,
    Derek W.

    • japanesepots says:

      The stamps tell the tale. Their are three generations, all named Ino Shukuho, it’s like a title that’s passed down.
      I’ll email you the different stamps, so you can differentiate. In my opinion though, the current generation Ino, 3, is by far the best.

  6. nelibonsai says:

    So I am a pothead???? You are infectious …and this infection is bad for the wallet. Are there any good pots without stumps?

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