Nihon de Hajimete, Part 12: Pottery and Display Journal Part 3

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:
Shunkaen
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.

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Kobayashi San showing us the large antique and specimen containers in the Shunkaen museum.

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Drool…..

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Shelves of antique and specimen pots in the sales area.

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Another view.

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A selection of Sharaku containers.

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Some nice antique containers.

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Old Crossing Chinese.

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Stands and stands!

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And More Stands!

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Antique Chinese containers in the museum.

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Boxes and boxes full of them!

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A really killer Antique Chinese Yellow.

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I really love this chuhin sized Shudei.

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Truly marvelous and famous Antique containers.

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Old Canton ware.

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Interesting heart shaped drainage on an antique cream glazed rectangle.

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In the display case, there was this…

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Small cascade style Tofukuji that Matt Ouwinga took home! The glaze on this pot is striking, and, along with Canton style and Oribe-Yu glazes, it is one of Tofukuji’s specialties.

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Detail of the base. The gold numbering above the drainage indicates that this Tofukuji is formerly of the famous Takagi collection.

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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.

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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!

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A modern example of Takatori Yu glaze from my collection, from Shunka Shozan.
Kimura’s Garden
Needless to say, the pottery at Kimura’s Garden was heavy on the antique Chinese containers!

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A single shelf of smaller and accent containers.

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Drool….

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Lower Shelves full of old containers.

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Some more views of the wonderful containers on the lower shelves.

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Old crossing containers.

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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!).
S-Cube
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!

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Museum style well lit shelves and display cases make perusing S-Cube’s sales area a distinctive experience.

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World Class Japanese and Antique Chinese containers, Suiseki, and tables…all for sale.

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Beautiful old containers and tables.

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Lovely old footed rectangle and Suiseki.

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Like a kid in a candy store!

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Drool….

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Awesome old containers.

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Fine old containers and Suiseki.

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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.

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A small Suiseki.

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Display case shelf.

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Kanzan.

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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!).
Yorozuen
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!

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Matt Ouwinga unwraps a Tofukuji. One of a hundred or so from the milk crates to Matt’s right.

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An interesting dark glazed round with Tofukuji signature cloud feet.

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Very nice Sometsuke Tofukuji. These are pretty rare, and were painted by an unknown artist.

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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!!

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Classic cut feet and a green oribe Yu glaze.

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Interesting partial glaze with the rustic Chamotte clay poking through at the base of the terebineri pot.

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Classic blue oval with lip.

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A really marvelous crackle glazed cream rectangle with incredible patina….droooolll…

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A virtually virgin cream rectangle.

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Green oribe drum with rivets. Incredible patina.

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Really cool nan banish glazed pot. I have a Gyozan that is an homage to this pot. I had no idea until I saw it!

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Large Chuhin pear skin Tofukuji. The drainage is exceptionally cool. Cut out with the kaede leaf stamp(it’s the same size, though the tracing leaves a little to be desired 😉

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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!

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Old canton ruri.

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And we’ll finish up this jaunt into my trip with some of my favorites. This is a famous Oribe Yu from Tofukuji. The patina is even and excellent. It almost appears to be part of the glaze.

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From the top and bottom.

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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!

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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
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3 Responses to Nihon de Hajimete, Part 12: Pottery and Display Journal Part 3

  1. Amazing stuff! Every time you post something new its like a peek into a world I know nothing about. After looking through so many bonsai things, you think you’ve seen everything. Then you post all these great photos of pots you can’t see anywhere else. Thanks!

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