Miyazaki Isseki

In the last post, we looked at pots from Tsukinowa Yusen, the master of brush and detail. In today’s post, we’ll take a look at Isseki, the master of negative space and elegance.
Miyazaki Isseki was born in Osaka in 1920 and lived until 1984. He specialized in tea pottery and other wares, but in 1965 begin making some small bonsai pots. His works are very rare, and prices are reflectively very high.

We’ll start off with this highly detailed red painted pot I looked at before in the “Famous Painters” post. Great brushwork to this piece, and fine use of detail. The use of negative space in the river winding away from the viewer creates a great sense of depth and perspective.

A totally different go-sai(5 color) pot with much less detail and more negative space than the last. For some reason, I’m reminded of the famous Sidney Opera House when I look at this pot, with it’s unique triangle architecture and bridge in the background. Very few elements and details with a great amount of negative space combine in this painting to form a cohesive landscape. Very elegant and understated, it feels almost expressionistic or cubist to me.

A more detailed sometsuke with very dark blue, and great sense of depth from the negative space of the overhanging cliff to the left.


A square or diamond shaped red pot with some very nice detailed brushwork and elegant space. The porcelain glaze on this pot appears very thick, rounding off what may be otherwise sharp edges.

Another red painting with a spartan landscape at the foot of the mountain. I love the lone tree slightly right of center at the foot of the temple. Stark.

Another very spartan red painting. This landscape, with it’s lone weeping willow and boater, feels a little sad to me. Would go very will with a spartan tree.

Another red with really nice, intricate details. Great patina on this piece.

A six sided pot blue with a lone hermit. This pot popped up for sale a month or two ago and was a fraction the cost of other Isseki, due to the gaps in the glaze you can see in the upper right.

Another Red with interesting use of space. The individual elements are all a bit separated, the trees to the right, the mountains in the upper left, as if seen emerging from a fog.

Another view of the same red from two different sides. You can see this interesting use of space between individual elements.

A cartoonishly colored go-sai with a nice patina beginning to form. Even through the patina, the bright colors still pop.

Another red with a greatly detailed boat and fisherman casting his net. I love the detail of the individual leaves of the reeds or bamboo to either side, and the balance created by the different amounts.

And we’ll finish up today’s post on Miyazaki Isseki with an elegant blue with great negative space to the left, and the same separation of the elements as seen in the red above.

I hope you’ve enjoyed looking at a few pots from Isseki! Up next: More pots from my collection!


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 gastrognome@aol.com
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5 Responses to Miyazaki Isseki

  1. Joe says:

    The “Another Red with interesting use of space” pot is amazing… I really like it. Part of your collection?

  2. japanesepots says:

    I wish Joe! That one was for sale from Taishoen a couple of weeks ago. It sold so quickly, I never even saw the price! Quite a bit, I’m sure!

    • bonsaijapan says:

      Thats a shame… i am not a huge fan of a lot of painted pots but that one immediately grabbed me! I would love to have one like it.

  3. Pingback: From my Collection 12 | Japanese Bonsai Pots Blog

  4. Pingback: It’s Not Everyday…

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