The full name of his kiln is 久保田彦山人(Kubota Hikosanjin), and he was born 久保田信彦(Kubota Shingen) in 1933, in Chiba prefecture. Hikosanjin has been painting and making bonsai pots since the 1970’s and is especially well known for painted celadon and akae(red) paintings. He first exhibited in the Keisei National Small Pots Masterpiece exhibition in 1981. Hikosanjin paintings show very fine line detail and brushwork, and are very classical and simple, much more like traditional ink paintings than some of the more detailed and naturalistic painters we’ve looked at on the site.
Now, on to the Pots!
A Hikosanjin painted collaboration pot with Tokoname potter Hattori Tomoyuki, from my collection. Here we can see Hikosanjin’s delicate and fine lined painting style and particular skill with Akae overglaze enamel. The sense of depth created in the painting by the rivers winding away into the distance is well done.
A go-sai mokko pot with feet, in my collection. Another collaboration from Hattori and Hikosanjin. The richness of the colors is very nice, and very detailed for such a small pot.
Two sides of a sometsuke oval, made and painted by Hikosanjin. The softness of the painting is exquisite, though also highly detailed, and a nice patina is beginning to form.
An Akae overglaze painted oval. The detail and fine brushwork are beautiful, and the feet nicely detailed. Like the previous piece, one side is majestic with negative space, the other busy and near view. I really like the majestic mountain side.
A deep indigo painted landscape scene, the stark use of line and form create a wintery and forbidding landscape to me.
A muti color cascade style with window landscape. The use of bright color in swaths really “springs” up the image, an interesting contrast with the previous pot.
A very simple small 5-color with boat and pilot and very few surrounding details. An interesting use of space, suggesting open water.
Another sometsuke oval, this landscape with it’s deep valley and river winding away into the distance creates a great sense of depth in the painting.
A quartet of Akae painted accent pots. Interesting for comparison of Hikosanjin’s variable style.
Another Akae painted pot, this one a square, from the corner, showing a really lovely near view of a house clustered in a copse in the forest. The trees are wonderfully detailed, and I really enjoy how they are rendered with such simple lines, for example, note how the bulk of the trunk is actually negative space, the image created by outline.
A cascade or semi-cascade round sometsuke painted pot. The feet are gorgeously painted, and the mist shrouded mountainous landscape with its lone copse is beautiful.
And we’ll finish up looking at Hikosanjin painted pots with one last Hattori Tomoyuki/Hikosanjin collaboration. Bright swaths and blocks of color make this painting festive, though the colors aren’t overused to the degree that the pot is difficult to use. I think the glaze and clay color used by Hattori mute the bright colors a bit, which would, perhaps, be a bit cartoonish over white porcelain.
Hikosanjin Hanko and Rakkan
Three marks on pots made and painted by Hikosanjin. Note that some are both nail carved and painted.
Hikosanjin signature peeking through the landscape on a Hattori collaboration pot.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this look at the painted pots of Kubota Hikosanjin. Up next, Antique Chinese pots and some famous Kutani Yaki.
Thanks for reading!
You know Ryan, I have all the books, but I enjoy your commentary so much when I need inspiration, I come here.
You are really doing a good job, interesting and entertaining.