From My Collection 3

Here are a few more interesting pots from my collection, to tide you readers over until I finish the first part of the “Bang for the Buck Potters” series, should be up tomorrow.

Syungado 6" x 4" x 1"

A really nice oval from high end Chinese kiln “Syungado.”  I was informed that Syungado has been made making bonsai pots during the entirety of the modern bonsai pottery era, around the turn of the century.  Many Syungado pots have made an appearance at the Kokufu-Ten.  This particular pot is aeround 50 years old, and has a nice patina and fine hairline crackle.  The ornate feet are very well done as well.

Katoaka Toshio, Yamaaki, 3" x 2.5"

Katoaka Toshio and Akitsugu marks. Image courtesy of Tokaname Yuyaki Company

One of the nicest examples I own from current generation Yamaaki potter Katoaka Toshio, also the head potter of the Ittoen kiln.  This pot resembles the work of Toshio’s father, Katoaka Sadamitsu, far more than it resembles Toshio’s current work.  The patina on this pot is fabulous, the wonky informal square shape, rough cracking of the clay, the 3 offset cut feet, and the rare chop(Its the second one in the diagram.  I dont know how rare it is, to tell the truth, but Ive never seen another one in the west) make this a truly unique Yamaaki.

Unsigned Yamaaki pots with the contemporary Katoaka’s stamp(the first in the above image) are NOT necessarily made by Toshio himself, as Yamaaki employs several professional potters who mold make their lower end pots.  Only signed contemporary pots and pots with the thunder border stamp are made by the head of the kiln, and the others are to be regarded as production grade.  Yamaaki cranks out far too many of these production grade pots, and while they are nice, they’re a little like new cars…theyre worth less than you paid for em as soon as you drive em off the lot!

Katoaka Akitsugu, Juuodo Shosen Yamaaki, 5" x 3"

A classical square with nice double cut corners, rounded base, and cut feet by 1st generation Yamaaki founder, Katoaka Akitsugu, whose pots are sometimes referred to as “Juuodo Shousen Yamaaki” as this is the reading of his signature.  A very nice patina on this pot, its starting to “glow” with age.  Patina on unglazed pots is a very strange thing, completely unlike the patina in both scientific cause and appearance of glazed pots.

Heian Tofukuji, 2nd Generation, 4" x 3.2" x 1"

A nice little rectangle from Tofukuji Jr.  This is in a color sometimes but not often used by the father, the thickness of the glaze is notable.  Clean cut lines and good cornering, Kaede Stamped.

Heian Chikuzan, 4.5" x 3" x 1"

A relatively unknown potter here in the West, Chikuzan is best known for his painting pots.  This small glazed pot is a very nice shade of light blue, with excellent clarity and depth.  Virtually unused, so their is little to no patina…a fact I hope to begin remedying soon!

Mame Pots, From Left, Unknown Stamp: 1", Sekishin: 1" x 2", Heian Kouso 2" x 1"

Some Tiny pots!  The foot detailing on the Sekishin is unbelievable!  Enlearge and check it out!  The chicken blood red glazed pot by Heian Kouso is really well made, and starting to develop a nice patina.

While this blog will principally be concerned with Japanese and Chinese Bonsai Pottery, every so often I’ll post a tree or two.  This Nishiki Matsu are looking pretty nice right now, but have some issues, which is why Id like to show It, after decandling, and in 40 or so days it will look even better when the new candles are out!  I have a few more that will be available for sale or trade next month, drop me an email if you’re interested.

Nishiki Matsu, 6.5" tall with 3.5" base, 2.5" trunk. 6" Ikkou pot

This Cork Bark Japanese Black pine is well on its way to being a good shohin.  Up until last week, I was thinking that maybe 2-3 years of buliding ramification and outline and it would be ready to go…then I noticed the small branch that compliments the secondary branch, on the right, its the cluster of needles right above the secondary branch, closest to the trunk.  See the color?  Yep, they’re dead.  When I noticed the needles beginning to discolour, closer inspection revealed that the branch was little wobbly, and had been fractured.  Who knows what caused the break?  Branches on Nishikis are fragile once they begin to cork, breathe on em too hard and BANG, dead as Dillinger.  Fortunately, their is a cluster near the base of this branch, so it can be rebuilt in the same position….but there goes a year.

Kaede, Acer Buergeranium, 6" tall, Ikkou pot

A nice little root over rock Kaede shohin, after a partial defoliation.  The goal with this one is ramification and thickening up those roots at the base of the stone.  Its easy to see how this ROR was created if you look closely.  A band of wire was embedded in the stem of a young tree, which self layered and grew the roots over the stone, after which the original roots were removed.  The signs of the girdle are still evident, but will be gone within 2 or 3 seasons with proper care.


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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