From my Collection 12: Painted Pots

It’s been awhile since I did a full collection post, so I’ve added quite a few nice little pieces since “11”, so I’m going to have to split them up into 3 posts, painted pots today and glazed and unglazed tomorrow, then Antique Chinese Pots Friday.
Let’s take a look at what I’ve added to my shelves so far this year.

Up first is a small porcelain oval sometsuke by Miyazaki Isseki. One of the top 5 Japanese porcelain painters of Bonsai pottery in the 20th century, Isseki’s work is diverse in shape, style, color, and size. Awesome detail and brushwork for such a small pot.
For more on Isseki, please see this post:
Miyazaki Isseki




Detail of the 4 sides of the pot. I especially like the use of negative space to create depth to the small scene, as in the tree lined road which stretches away into the distance.

A very early edition collaborative piece, painted by Ito Gekko and made by his brother, Ito Tonyo. Arabesques and flower pattern Gekkous are rare, collaborative pieces more so, so this one is a double find! The Patina is nice as well, showing many years of use.

Close up of the base, showing the nice patina, Gekko’s hand painted signature, and double stamps from Tonyo.

Five color small rectangle by Gekko. Later work, showing the high detail, contrast, and color differentiation of Gekko paintings in the last decade.

Opposite side, note the negative space changes the directional use of the pot, so it can be used with a tree with right or left movement.

A middle period akae(red) Gekko oval with cut feet. Has lost that new pot sheen from a decade or more of use, and the less astringent brush work and less rigid use of detail is notably characteristic of middle period Gekko pots. The detail is still very fine, however, just a little softer than more recent work. Compare with the 5 color above.

Mokko shape Koseki five color landscape pot. The use of color is bright and eye catching, and the landscape scene, with it’s liberal use of negative space, isn’t too busy. Most Koseki pots are tiny little accent and mini pieces of only 3-7cm, I picked this one up because, at 6″, it’s the largest and most usable size I’ve seen from Koseki.

An older Kutani overglaze enamel cascade pot with signed kiri bako and turmeric cloth. Very characteristic Kutani go-sai overglaze work: slightly cartoonish, but charming nonetheless.

Detail of pot and figures.

A small oval collaborative pot made by Hattori Tomoyuki of Tokoname and painted by Hikosanjin. Really soft lines and focus to the red painted distant landscape scene make this pot easily usable. The darker clay body enhances the color and feeling. I love the feeling of depth and space created by the river valleys winding into the distance. A lot of detail for a small pot that somehow doesn’t appear too busy and crowded.

A lipped rectangle sometsuke landscape. The pot is signed, but I’m not sure of the name of the maker, it’s “歌麿”, which I think is “KaMaro”. The kiln is Chinese and pots from it pop up pretty frequently. Around 30-40 years old, like most Chinese unknowns, made by kilns formerly specializing in other wares who began making bonsai pots during the boom years in Japan. The painting is quite nice for an inexpensive pot: the style reminds me of Ito Gekko.

And we’ll finish up collection 12 with a small mokko collaborative pot, again by Hattori and Hikosanjin, this one a 5 color painted scene. The details are very fine for such a small pot.
Up Next: Pots from Collection 13, New Glazed and Unglazed Pots!


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
This entry was posted in Famous and Antique Potters, Modern Potters, My Personal Collection. Bookmark the permalink.

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