The 10th Annual Modern Shohin Container Artist Exhibition, Part 1

Every year I look forward to the images and summary of the Shohin potters exhibition held during Gafu Ten in January and sponsored by the Japan Shohin Bonsai Association. But this year I was anticipating the results something special as I had two friends in the exhibition.
This will be my 4th article on the exhibition, tempus fugit and all that, click on the “Table of Contents” page for the previous articles on the 2012-2014 exhibitions.


Due to the large volume of images and detail photos, I’ve separated this article into two posts, the winners and special exhibitions and other entries. Stay tuned for part two later today.

However, before we take a look at the winners and the exhibition photos, allow me a second to once again congratulate British Potter Andrew Pearson, of Stone Monkey Ceramics, first for having the fortitude to even enter the show(at the clearly right headed urging of Peter Warren and Akiyama San), and second, and foremost, for taking a gold award in the unglazed category. Well done Monkey.
I’d also like to congratulate my friend Ruban Yu of Taiwan for his excellent showing in the exhibition.
Special thanks for permission to use their images for these posts goes out to Mark and Rita Cooper, Miyazato Rintaro, Koji Yoshida, Dario Mader, and Haruyosi. Thanks Again!
Now, on to the pots!

The Award Winners

Unglazed Containers




Andrew Pearson’s Gold award winning unglazed trio. The attention to detail is outstanding, in both the razor sharp lines and relief carvings. The display is very well presented also. Andrew is the first Western Bonsai potter to exhibit at major exhibition in Japan, and certainly the first to take Top Prize. Sure, this site is called Japanese bonsai pots….but anybody who wins a show in Japan qualifies in my book.
More of Andy’s pots can be seen(and purchased) here:
Stone Monkey Ceramics


The Silver Award for unglazed containers went to the artist Hiroshi(宏) Sugiahima Shigehiro, for a trio of stained, or perhaps Matte or slip coated pieces. Very interesting colors and forms to these pieces.


The bronze for unglazed containers was awarded to Yatani Kouhei, who goes by the artist name Ryusai. The containers are especially impressive when one considers that this artist has only been making bonsai and containers since 2012.

Glazed Containers



This year’s top award for Glazed pots went to Shinobu, who some of you may remember from the 9th show, where he took the top prize in UNGLAZED containers! From last years post: “The Gold in unglazed containers was awarded to Shinobu(忍), of the bonsai garden Amemiya-En(雨宮園) in Yamanashi.”
The glazes on these pieces are pretty spectacular, varied, complex, but still very easily usable. Impressive clay work and container shape as well.



The silver award for Glazed pottery went to one of FOUR students of blog favorite Fukuda Shigeru(Bushuan) who were chosen to exhibit in this show. The artist is Kyuji Jinbo , who goes by the names Jinkozan (神久山) or Jinbe(じんべ). He also entered in the unglazed category. Interesting glazes and good looking clay work as well. The red is decidedly reminiscent of his teacher’s clean red glazes.



The bronze award for Glazed pieces went to Matsuda Tsutomu, or 静雲寺. Another bronze award winner whose work is most impressive in the very short length of time spent in the art…3 years in this case.

Painted Containers



Top honors in the painted category went to Yamada Shigetoshi, who goes by the artist name Shun(俊). I’ve written an article about this artist before, here:
Fine details, both in the painting and the varied shapes and feet of the containers, made this display the clear winner.



One of two Kutani area painters in this exhibition, Kutani Aritomo took the silver award for painted porcelain. Very detailed paintings, and excellent clay work in a myriad of shapes. The demon foot piece is especially nice. A little variety in the color could’ve won top honors I think.




Bronze was awarded to Yokotani Toshihide, formerly known as Shuzan, now working under the name Shunhou(俊峯). Shunhou is a former apprentice of Owari Yuhou, who I’ve featured on the blog before. Good variety in shape and color. Excellent pieces.

Special Exhibitions
There were two special entries in this years show, from Veteran potters Ito Gekko and Watanabe Kazuhiro.



Ito Gekko’s special exhibit


Ikkou’s exhibit in the show. A very cool display comprising the four most common classical unglazed natural colors and Ikkou’s own brand:

In order, they are Kurodei(黒泥-black clay), Shidei(紫泥-purple clay), Shirodei(白泥-white/tan clay), Shudei(朱泥-vermillion clay), and Koudei(紅泥-Ikkou’s own Red clay. Actually a little brighter than classical Shudei!).

In addition to the Modern Potters competition, Gafu Ten is also host to a couple of other exhibitions. This year there was an International Shohin photo competition, and congratulations to Mark and Rita Cooper, Pedro Morales, and 張珺理 for their awards. In addition, every year the Shohin bonsai, containers, stands, and stones that are selected and named treasures of Shohin Bonsai are also displayed. Of special note this year were two complete sets of Tsukinowa Yusen’s paintings of Ando’s 53 Stations of the Tokkaido Road.


Yusen’s Tokaido Road containers are composed of 55 painted pots and 5 blank porcelain pieces, to even out to five 12 pot sets. It’s exceptional that two complete sets have remained together.





I hope you’ve enjoyed this first look at the 10th Modern Potters Exhibition!
Stay Tuned, part 2 coming up tomorrow!


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
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5 Responses to The 10th Annual Modern Shohin Container Artist Exhibition, Part 1

  1. Excellent article Michael, adds quality and insight to all those pictures that have been posted on social media

  2. Tony Tickle says:

    Reblogged this on Bonsai & Yamadori from Tony Tickle and commented:
    One for My buddy Stone Monkey

  3. Pingback: Shunka Seizan 3 | Japanese Bonsai Pots Blog

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