Painted Pots from Shunka Seizan(Update 5/11)

A while ago, I posted pots from my collection of Shunka Seizans. The original post can be found here:
Shunka Shozan(駿河政山)

They were all kiln change glazes, very Tofukujiesque. Around 6 months ago, painted pots from this talented potter began appearing, so I thought I’d share.
Here’s an excerpt from the original post:
“His real name is “河村 政春” “Kawamura Seishun”. A veteran of more than 40 years as a bonsai grower, enthusiast, and lover, he is especially known for his maples. Seizan began making pots as a hobby 6 years ago. The works are all single block carved, and feature some of the best glazes I’ve seen from any modern potter, both in kiln change type glazes and clean, pure colors. Most of his glazes are kiln change type, in the best Japanese tradition of Tofukuji.”
Now, on to the pots!
Wait. Not quite. Let’s back up a little. Some history is in order. There are many Japanese legends, and most are illustrated in scrolls and paintings. It’s very common for bonsai pottery painters starting out(and veterans alike still paint them) to imitate the images found in these famous legends, not only because they are easy to paint, but also because they are oriented to nature, so fit well to bonsai..
One such legend is that of the “Fox’s wedding”-“Kitsune no yomeiri no zu”.
This legend speaks to the fox bride going to Marry her husband. In all actuality, though, we say, in the south “The Devil is beating his wife”. Know what the legend refers to yet? If you’re from Tennessee, you may say “the devil is kissing his wife.” or if you’re from some parts of southeast Asia, a wolf may be marrying the fox, as in the Netherlands, where it’s also a “Wolves Wedding”. Give up?
….it’s a sunshower(google it for more fun trickster legends and sayings). The legend and story refer, simply, to the occurrence of rain during a bright sunshiny day. Most every culture has legends explaining odd and natural meteorological phenomena in this manner, they’re fun and interesting subjects. How interesting to match the feel of your tree(a rainy sunny day) to such a porcelain painting.

An older version of the “Fox’s wedding”. Note that as they move through the trees, the trickster kitsune take on the appearance of humans. I suppose the rain is represented by the cedar trees in the legend, distorting images in the broad daylight.

Next we have the Chojugiga. These are anthropomorphic animals depicted at play(or mischief!) in many famous old Japanese paintings.


Two images from the Chojugiga scrolls. I tried to post the full image of the first, and most famous, scroll, but it was too large for WordPress to handle. Painted around the 12th century, the first scroll(where these images come from) is 36 feet long by 1 foot wide!
Now…on to the pots! For reals!



Shunka Seizan window pots, in blue, all showing images from the Chojugiga. While similar in design, these are three different pots. Keep in mind that these are introductory works from a hobby potter…very promising indeed.


A green and yellow window pot with Chojugiga images. The glaze technique is clean and well done, and the painting very nice, especially from a beginner.

A non window painted pot featuring the Chojugiga. Very nice painting on this piece, like it’s peeled from the original sci


And, images from our other foray into Japanese legend, “Fox’s Wedding.” one a window painted glazed pot, and the other a rectangle porcelain pot. Both are very well executed. If you look back to the earlier post and compare, you’ll note that Shunka Seizan really only makes 3 styles of pots: angular-footed rectangles and squares, and lotus/quince flower shaped pots.


And we’ll finish up this look at new painted Shunka Seizans with these two dragons pots: one and angular-footed rectangle, the other a quince flower shape. The dragon is well painted and realistic with great expression in both pieces; in fact, it’s better than pots I’ve seen from painters who’ve been doing this for decades…not 6 months to a year!
I think we’ll see great things from Shunka Seizan in the future.

Thanks for reading, I hope you’ve enjoyed a peek at new pots from this promising artist. Up next: Sho Ami, Hikosanjin, and Famous Kutani!


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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2 Responses to Painted Pots from Shunka Seizan(Update 5/11)

  1. Pingback: The 9th Annual Shohachi Ten | Japanese Bonsai Pots Blog

  2. Pingback: A Hanging | Japanese Bonsai Pots Blog

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