Sharaku was born Masahiro Shimotori(霜鳥昌弘) in Niigata Prefecture in 1940, but currently works in Yashio in Saitama.
He had great interest in Bonsai, and studied at Shunkaen under the renowned Kunio Kobayashi, and won awards for his Satsuki, notably the Excellence Award for Satsuki Shaping from Kindai Bonsai.
He found his true calling in 1997, when he began apprenticing under blog favorite Shigeru Fukuda(aka Bushuan). In 2004 he apprenticed in Guangdong to study clay and Chinese technique for a year. Sharaku has won numerous awards for his pottery, and now runs a pottery school in Saitama.
Unlike Bushaun, Sharaku specializes in single color glazes that are very bright and clean. But it’s easy to see his old master’s style in his complicated Mokko shape pots, for which he is rightfully famous.
Now, on to the pots!

A selection of Sharaku pots I photographed for sale at Shunkaen.

A bright yellow Mokko shape, formerly of my collection. Clean, bright yellow. These pots will be masterpieces once patina has taken it’s toll and toned them down.

A small green glazed three footed round in my collection.

A selection of Sharaku pots on display in a show at Shunkaen.

And a few more on display at Shunkaen(the painted cascade not Sharaku).

A really impressive Red mokko. Very rich and warm glaze.


Sharaku’s entries in 2 different years of the Gafu Ten held Shohin pottery exhibition and competition.

Photo By Bonsai Rien

Photo By Bonsai Rien

Photo By Bonsai Rien
A selection of mokko shapes in green, indigo, and red.

Check out that glaze!

A really fantastic antique mirror shape in bright orange with Chicken Feet. The tight angles and points are razor sharp and clean. Excellent clay work.

Another Antique Mirror shape in pink

A really nice small cascade from the collection of friend of the Blog Nathan Simmons.

A really nice mokko shape with a rather bluish celadon glaze.

A two toned red round with drips. It’s rare to see a potter who really embraces and specializes in red Glazes, and Sharaku’s are some of the best.

A different orange glaze than the previous pieces. This one is thicker and a little more rustic.

Photo by Bonsai-Rien

Photo by Bonsai-Rien
A multi toned red cascade. A different red than the previous pieces, more of a Canton red. Very lovely and warm.

Photo Credit: Kenny Tay
A really impressive mokko shape from the collection of Kenny Tay. It’s rare to see two toned glaze like this from Sharaku. Very nice piece.

Sharaku’s three artist marks. The Kabuki image and Sharaku’s artist name comes from the 18th century Ukiyoe Artist “Sharaku”, whose woodblock prints and paintings of sumo and kabuki are masterpieces of the time.

Sharaku’s “Kabuki Actor Otani Oniji II in the role of Edobe” that is the model for Shimitori San’s artist mark.

And we’ll finish up today with a little Winter Jasmine in a Sharaku pot.

If you’re in the area, I’ll be giving a lecture on The History, Appreciation, Classification, and Identification of Bonsai Containers for the Atlanta Bonsai Society January 24, the Bonsai Society of Upstate New York January 27, and the Birmingham Bonsai Society February 9th. I hope to see a few readers of the blog out, despite the chilly weather!

I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s article on the pottery of Sharaku,
Thanks For Reading!


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
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Sharaku(写楽)

  1. stonemonkey1968 says:

    Michael I am lucky to have one in my collection which was gifted to me by my good friend Peter Warren. I shall take a picture for you and send it over for reference if you want my friend



  2. stonemonkey1968 says:

    Reblogged this on Stone Monkey Ceramics and commented:
    Ever wonderful and informative insight into work from important Japanese potters from Michael

  3. thomdec says:

    It’s nice to see pots in modern vibrant colors combined with traditional design. The red glazes Sharaku has mastered are exquisite. His personalized hanko truly does leave its mark – a creative and mindful collaboration. Great article.

Leave a Reply

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

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s