Seifu Yohei(清風与平)

Seifu Yohei comes from a long line of Kyoto area potters and painters. He was the 4th generation of the Yohei pottery line, currently in the 5th, and lived from 1921 to 1991. The first generation lived from 1803-1863, just to give you an idea of how far back the family line of pottery goes.
While he made many pots of his own in his later years, he is perhaps best known for his collaboration pieces with Tsukinowa Yusen, and we’ll take a look at some of both. His style is very different from his friend Yusen. It’s very busy, often filling negative space areas with kanji poetry and designs. Sort of the anti-Isseki. Enjoy a look through a few pots from this unique and extraordinary painter.
Collaboration Pieces

So we’ll start off with one here in the States! This is a Yusen-Yohei collaboration pot in the collection of Matt Ouwinga, of Kaede Bonsai En. The animal clinging to the side is A Yusen signature move, using animals and children, and was used later in pots made and painted by Seifu Yohei. The arabesques on the tiger clinging to the pot are especially nice and well done.

A Yusen-Yohei collaboration piece. The pot is clearly Yusen’s signature style, but the painting is very much Yohei. Note the broad, indelicate brushwork and lack of significant negative space, Yohei’s signature style. It creates landscapes and images that are nearly impressionistic in their take on scenes.

Another Yusen-Yohei collaboration. This one has significantly more negative space than many other Yohei paintings. The painting itself is charming.

Another Yusen-Yohei collaboration piece. This one has not only Seifu’s signature style, but also typical Kyoto style geometric work, very unusual for Seifu paintings. The shape of the pot by Yusen is delicate and contrasts well with Seifu’s indelicate style.

Another Yusen-Yohei collaboration. Ive seen several version of this painting by Yohei, some with the red hat(boy that stands out!) some without.

An interesting multicolor tall cascade collaboration piece from Yusen And Yohei. The colors are vibrant and striking.

Seifu Solo


A pair of pots made and painted by Yohei. Note the Yusen style animal clinging to the side, a design much duplicated by Seifu in his own work.

So the first two pots featuring Yusen style animals clinging to the side of the pots were interesting, but this one is beyond the pale! Paintings cover both the inside and outside of the pot.

A pair of Akae painted Seifu Yohei. The characteristic busyness to Seifu’s painting is clearly here, with little to no negative space in either pot.

A multicolor, tall cascade pot in Seifu’s signature style. Zero white space in this pot! What would YOU plant in this?

A pair of multi-color painted pots, in Seifu’s signature style. His paintings are a little cartoonish, but charming for it, rather than cheesy.

Another tall cascade, this one painted in red with bold black kanji in the center of the landscape.

A blue Seifu Yohei, showing his characteristic landscape style and full coverage of the surface of the pot.

A very thickly glazed porcelain round by Yohei. The thick glaze is uncommon to porcelain works which are often delicate. Unsurprising considering Seifu’s style!

A lightly glazed angular cascade with band and interestingly cut feet. Very masculine, though the slight touches of glaze soften it a bit.

And we’ll finish up with a thickly glazed celadon porcelain pot, of a style most commonly seen in old Owari Yaki pots. Very simple and elegant, and very much out of character for Seifu Yohei!

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing a few pots from Yusen Collaborator(and excellent potter in his own right) Seifu Yohei. Thanks for reading! Up next: A few bonsai around my garden, and I’ll finally get to the third of the Big 3: Heian Kozan, the Razor.


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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1 Response to Seifu Yohei(清風与平)

  1. Another great post Ryan! Keep spreading this great knowledge!
    Also, thanks for posting that collaboration piece of mine, its a special pot and very treasured in my collection. I remember when I saw it for sale from Yorozu-en and got so excited. I think its important to note that if this was a solo Yusen pot (made and painted by him) it would be so much more than I was paid for the pot. At first glance I thought it was %100 yusen, but those great guys over at the ‘Yo’ made sure to clarify it was painted by seifu. In my opinion, it appears different from many of his other paintings (seifu that is). I believe Seifu, without deception, was trying to paint as close to Yusen as he could, and did an excellent job.
    thanks again for all the great knowledge you continually share with the pottery community.
    Matthew Ouwinga

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