Heian Shouami(平安昭阿弥)

In contrast to the last article dealing with the highly refined and detailed work of Kutani Ikko, in todays article with deal with the whimsical and playful painted pottery of Heian Shouami.
The first generation “Shouami”(昭阿弥), whose given name was 高野網一(Takaya Amiichi) was born in 1905 in Kyoto, and passed away in 1993. Beginning in 1930, he studied pottery and painting under the famous Kyoto potter 柴田如阿(Shibata Joa). He passed away in 1993, passing the reigns on to his son, 高野進二郎(Takaya Shinjiro…interesting note, the sons name, 進二郎, if my translation is correct, means “Progress of the second Son”). The second generation Shouami is in current production.
Shouami is well known in Japan as a master of Kyo-Yaki ceramics. They specialize in making eating utensils, tea ceremony items, and other ceramics, in a very traditional Kyoto style. Bonsai pot production has been by special request and commission only, consequently, the numbers of Bonsai pots around are relatively low. That being said, they’re still relatively inexpensive as painted containers go, around the low end of the middle range.
The pots shown here are both first and second generation. To my eye, there is very little stylistic difference.
Now, on to the pots!


First up, a whimsical go-sai dragon pot. Note the cartoonish dragon, and overall surreal quality of the painting. Very typical.

And something completely different! Traditional Kyo-Yaki Over glaze enameled flower. Very lovely. You can see examples of this style from many other Kyoto potters, Wakamatsu Aiso is famous for them.

A traditional landscape in panel with alternating panels of Kyo-Yaki style geometrics. Compare this piece to other famous Kyoto potters whose work has similar designs, like Yusen and Takao Koyo, and even painted pots made by Tofukuji.

Another very traditional design. Lovely feet.

Another dragon. Very cute and whimsical, which I think are the terms that best describe Shouami work.

A more detailed sometsuke piece. More detailed than the dragon above, but still, quite whimsically painted.

A really fantastic gold overgraze enamel dragon. Very cool.

A really impressionistic panel pot, with Kyo-Yaki geometric waves.

Interesting combination of gold and 5 color over glaze enamel. A common theme.

Similar to the piece above, but with more detail.

Another dragon. I like the buttoned bases on this one and the gold overgraze dragon above. Very cool and unique.

A really nice gold overgraze over red. You see these from Kyoto potters frequently. Yusen’s son, Shunseki, is famous for them.

A whimsical painting of children.
Non-Bonsai Items
Since Shouami is famous for tea ceremony items and other wares, I think I would be remiss if I didn’t show a few of them to showcase the full breadth of the work.





Thanks for reading! I hope you’ve enjoyed this profile of potter and painter Shouami!


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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