Ichinokura Sekisyu(市之倉石州)

Ichinokura Sekisyu was born in 1925. He first opened the kiln “Koho” in 1956, and was primarily focused on tea cups and similar wares. Beginning in 1970, he began producing small bonsai pots under the Koho name, and in 1972, began producing pots under his own name, Ichinokura Sekisyu.
He is known for a very unique style of painting, and especially famous for his inset window paintings. Pots of the Sekisyu line are rare, it’s estimated than only 100 or so exist. Pots from the Koho line are as prolific as the Sekisyu pots are rare, they’re everywhere and quite inexpensive.
Like Tofukuji and Heian Kouzan, Sekisyu’s works are highly diverse, showing great skill in multiple mediums. Also like these two giants, his followers are legion, and he has had a profound impact on contemporary bonsai pottery.
Now, on to the pots!
Painted Sekisyu




From all four sides, a great example o the window, or panel, painted pots that Sekisyu is famous for. The panels have great detail, and little to no bleed beyond the borders. The calligraphy I also beautiful, and the reversal of color(blue on white for the landscapes, white on blue for the calligraphy) is spectacular.


From two sides, another window pot, this one glazed. The details are beautiful, with great and fine line detail, and the skill shown in the glaze is great.

We’ll move away from window pots for just a second to show this awesome blue glazed oval with white overglaze figures. My favorite Sekisyu. Sublimely elegant and understated. Can’t say enough about this one!



Three views of a landscape round with really cool feet. The details on the landscape are great, the painting beautiful, and the pot level with clean, sharp lines. Masterpiece.


Back to window pots for Another true masterpiece! Take note of the zero bleed in the panel, the lovely details to the landscape, and excellent calligraphy. A famous Sekisyu of virtually identical design appears in the Kinbon Encyclopedia of pots on page 81.

A differen type of panel painted pot, this one overglaze enamels in 5 colors showing the Chojugiga.

Not quite a window painted pot, this one has a full wraparound band of porcelain painted landscape, with an unglazed lip.



Three sides of another round, with akae landscape. Another with the excellent, fancy cut feet like the round above.

A painted traditional style rectangle with geometrics and window.
Glazed and Unglazed Sekisyu

A very simple, rustic, terebineri hand formed Sekisyu unglazed pot. Warm and simple.

Sekisyu is famous for his reds, an they are plentiful and awesome. Clean, pure red glaze.

A very simple, and very tiny, cream glazed rectangle Sekisyu with some blue highlights.

A tall antique mirror shape cascade with a fascinating metallic glaze.

A really nice green crackle glaze Sekisyu. It’s in pots like this one that we can see Sekisyu’s influence on contemporary potter Shigeru Fukuda(Bushuan!).


Another that must have influenced Fukuda in his pottery! One may say that these types of glazes are Canton ware influenced, but the shape of the pot leaves no doubt that Bushuan is a Sekisyu fan!!

Another unglazed Sekisyu. Warm and rustic, this one shows an interesting clay color. GoyoMatsu, anyone?

A darker, richer clay bag shape Sekisyu with lip and cut feet. Clean lines and classic shape: Quite a contrast with the rustic oval above!

And we’ll finish up with Sekisyu glazed an unglazed pots with this red…See why he’s famous for reds now?
Koho pots are plentiful and cheap, though some are quite nice. They can go a high price wise as 150-200$, but for the most part, they are quite inferior to Sekisyu pots. It’s very easy to see from the paintings on Kohos why they’re priced so much more cheaply than Sekisyu: it’s not just availability and rarity, there’s a definite quality difference!




A few painted Koho. The patina on the last piece is especially nice. Note the rough, coarse lines of the paintings. They have their own charm, but are not comparable to Sekisyu signed works.


Some great examples of the best of Koho unglazed and glazed pieces.

An excellent Koho with overglaze enamel. Like the previous two pots, this sits at the high end of the Koho line, 150$-200$.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this glimpse at the pottery of Ichinokura Sekisyu! Thanks for reading! Up next: Wazyaku!


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 gastrognome@aol.com
This entry was posted in Famous and Antique Potters. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Ichinokura Sekisyu(市之倉石州)

  1. Sam Edge says:

    Thanks for the post. We haven’t collected any of Sekisyu’s pots and certainly didn’t understand the rarity of them. Excellent information.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s