So, this is part 2 of the masterpiece pottery of Tsukinowa Yusen.
Glazed and Unglazed Yusen
A typical celadon glazed Yusen, with clean lines and a very thick glaze, which softens the edges quite a bit.
Another porcelain unpainted Yusen, showing the characteristic Yusen holed footbase. A much thinner glaze than the pot above really sharpens the angles.
A glazed Yusen, showing a marvelous patina over a light blue glaze.
A simple unglazed Yusen of black clay. Clean lines and nice clay.
And we’ll finish up our look at glazed and unglazed Yusen with this rustic rectangle with cut feet, from the collection of my friend Matt Ouwinga, of Kaede Bonsai En. Really nice rustic texture to the clay.
Of the many potters Yusen collaborated with, none are seen more often, or are more interesting, than Yusen pots painted by Seifu Yohei. The above pot is characteristic of Yohei’s painting style, with broad, rough brushstrokes that create interesting landscapes. Yohei’s work is often dark and almost gothic in style, totally different from the light and airy style of Yusen.
Another Yusen-Yohei collaborative pot, again from the Collection of Matt Ouwinga. There are but a handful of these Foo Dog figure pots from Yusen, a real rarity!
A rare and interesting collaborative pot between Yusen and Kutani Ikko, in 5 color overglaze enamel. I have a post in the works dedicated to Kutani Ikko, so we won’t go into too much detail here, except to say that given Ikko’s extremely detailed and realistic contemporary work, this must be early work indeed!
Yusen Homage Pots
Many painters of the contemporary era idolize Yusen, and it’s not uncommon to see pots that are copies of famous Yusen.
An Echizen Hosui in my collection. This pot is a straight Homage pot to a famous Yusen, you can compare with the original, from the Hatanaka pottery book, below.
The original that the Hosui is based upon.
A really great red painted pot with landscape, hut, horses and riders, by Shuuido Yuraku. The influence of Yusen is pretty clear from this pot, as we can see in the next image, a pot by Yusen.
A Yusen with similar landscape designs.
A Yusen homage style by Joshu Shozan, note the stereotypical Yusen landscape features, as well as the horse and rider.
A Yusen homage pot by Takao Koyo. An excellent copy, differing from the original in its red painted landscape, as opposed to blue.
Another piece from Takao Koyo, this one an homage to Yusen stylistically, rather than an overt copy.
A Yusen for comparison.
I could write about and show examples of Yusen homage pots all day, as he is the most influential painter of the modern era, but for now we’ll move on.
Shohin Bonsai in Yusen Pots
I’ll have to apologize for the quality of images here, these trees all appear in multiple tree displays, so the individual image quality isn’t that high, then you compound that with my clumsy fingers, well, anyway, you get the drift.
It’s not uncommon, yet still rare, to see pines in white pots. Pines in painted white pots is another story. Here is a textbook example of the “dignity of the tree in balance with the dignity of the pot. Something we in the west should note as a concept far far more!
Kinzu, or Dwarf Japanese Wild Kumquat, all in semicascade style. The orange citrus contrasts well with the paintings in the Yusens, and the white of the porcelain provides a good counter for the bright green leaves.
Asiatic Jasmine, Trachelospermum, in red and blue Yusens.
Silverberry, or Eleagnus, in red and blue Yusens.
Pyracanthas. The bright orange berries contrast well with the bright white porcelain.
Mayumi and Komayumi, Euyonmus species.
Obai, or Winter Jasmine, in a blue Yusen.
Mini Kusamono in thimble sized Yusens.
So, that’s a pretty good selection of Shohin Bonsai in Yusen pots. Despite the rarity of Yusen pots, in any given year at Gafu Ten, 3-15 will be on display, either with trees or as solo displays.
In Conclusion, it’s easy to see why Yusen pots are so coveted and expensive! Beauty in and of themselves, beautiful with trees, and rarity all combine to make Yusen pots the pinnacle of any collectors’ shelves! As a send off, let’s take a look at a couple more painted Yusen:
An ultra rare Yusen vase. The craftsmanship to the vase is extraordinary, and the painting itself is perhaps some of the most detailed of Yusen’s work I’ve seen(perhaps because of its size?). While many things are striking about the scene on the vase, what I like most is the reflection of the landscape in the lake.
Front and detail of a Hatanaka Book Yusen owned by Matt Ouwinga. I really love this pot, it’s an excellent example of Yusen’s masterful style, from the characteristic paintings to the signature style footbase.
As published in the Hatanaka pottery book.
Back and base with signature. It’s safe to assume that the back calligraphy is from old Chinese poetry, and the front illustrates the imagery in the poem.
I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing this two part article on the masterful pottery and paintings of Tsukinowa Yusen. For more on Yusen, check out “Charisma”, a pottery porn lovers extravaganza featuring the works of Yusen and Kouzan. You can order it from Yoshoen, found on the links page!
Up next, Takao Koyo and Kutani Ikko!
Thanks for reading!