Continuing where we left off, today we take another visit to Shunkaen, Kimura’s garden, and S-Cube, and Yorozuen and check their pottery. So, without further ado:
Kobayashi San has one of the most impressive collections of antique and world class pottery available anywhere in Japan. Many of the containers on display and in the several sales areas are famous and published in exhibition albums(and those albums are always available nearby for you to take a look!).
There are several display areas, and, sadly, I didn’t get any decent photos of the upstairs display area with smaller and medium pots, but, suffice to say, it was impressive, nearly everything in pristine condition.
Some more views of the other three sides. This glaze is called called Takatori-Yu, and was first used over 400 years ago in Japan. It is widely considered by many enthusiasts that Tofukuji perfected the centuries old Takatori Yu glaze, one of my favorite glazes.
Perhaps the most famous and best Takatori Yu container NOT made by Tofukuji. If you compare this with just the one Takatori glaze pot featured here, it’s easy to understand why many think that Tofukuji perfected the glaze!
All of the large unglazed containers on the upper shelves are strapped down, presumable to prevent damage in case of an earthquake(or clumsy western visitors!).
Morimae San’s S-Cube has a wide variety of containers, from inexpensive to prohibitively costly, Ancient to modern. It’s easy to spend several hours in the museum-style sales area!
In the display cases, contemporary Japanese and Chinese containers(incidentally, I discovered, much to my chagrin, that the pots on this shelf were mismarked!). Kouso, Shoseki, and Kanzan.
A small Suiseki.
Inexpensive(relatively speaking!) containers arrayed outside. Searching through the containers at S-Cube is like looking through used LPs! There’s always something you want!(Be sure to empty your kids’ college funds before you go!).
So…last of all, we have the Saitama area powerhouse of Shohin bonsai, Yorozuen. I’ve been dealing with Fukano San and purchasing from Yorozuen for a couple of years…and it showed. We’d barely say down to tea before Ayumu Fukano and his father had brought out milk crates full of Specimen quality Tofukuji pots. Between Matt and myself, it seems he knew our tastes!
Boxes and boxes full of newspaper wrapped Tofukuji pots. At over a hundred, I clearly didn’t get pictures of them all(especially since I was half blind by this point!). In fact, by around 60 I had to step outside for a break and walk around the trees! Tofukuji overload!!
Some non Tofukuji pots at Yorozuen. Big Ino Shukuho and some old Chinese. While I’m focussing on Tofukuji a bit, take note: there were many many more specimen
Quality pots at Yorozuen, I just didn’t get good pictures of them!
And we’ll finish up the pottery journal with this world class specimen Tofukuji.
The painting is excellent, and, for a distant view, very detailed. The crackle is fine and beautiful, rather than crazed. There’s no telling how rare this is. I know there are only a couple hand and footfulls of painted Tofukuji, period, and maybe 7 or 8 that are non-Sometsuke. I’m pretty sure this is the only go-sai painted Tofukuji with yellow glaze accents in existence. An absolute masterwork. I cringe to think how much it was worth at the financial peak a couple of decades ago. More than my house, that’s for sure. These days, more than my car…and my wife’s car, put together!
Thanks for reading, and taking this eye opening trip after the fact with me, to some of the greatest Bonsai gardens in Japan! Up next: Conclusions! pots from my Collection 16 and 17, Sharaku, Daisuke Sano, Kutani Ikko 2….ad infinitum!