Well, spring sprang with a vengeance this year! I don’t know about you guys, but I managed to finish everything I had planned for the season, from repotting, to grafting, to styling and on down the line….well, almost everything…I’ve been remiss in updating the blog with all the hubbub of spring, so now that everything is done, I’ll be playing catch up and posting twice weekly for a while. First up, Hayashi Mokuu!
Hayashi Mokuu, whose real name was Hayashi Yoshikazu was born in Kyoto in 1901, and passed away in 1999. He studied pottery under his father, who worked at one of the large Kyo Yaki kilns. At the age of 20, he took a position with the Imperial Household Kiln, to acquire skills with porcelain. After this, he studied with famous Kyoto craftsman Shimizu, where he began creating bonsai pottery.
Mokuu was close friends with Heian Tofukuji, and they often created bonsai together, and also traded secrets and critiques of each other’s pottery works. Some Mokuu even use Tofukuji’s glazes.
Mokuu’s work is pretty varied, from charming small painted pieces, to odd figurines, to simple unglazed Nanban.
Now, on to the pots!
First up, here’s a very brief look at the types of wares Mokuu is known for, in his day job as a classical Kiyomizu style potter. Interesting, and sometimes odd, figurines, tea and sake wares, and other assorted Kyo-Yaki ceramics.
Three views of an akae painted paneled green round. The paintings are both detailed and simple, the type of charming scenes Mokuu is famous for painting.
A very simple cut foot, glazed rectangle. Fantastic patina. I think this is a good example of one of those pieces Tofukuji may have had input on, perhaps even a shared glaze.
Another very simple and charming painted pot, this one sometsuke with black feet. The patina really adds character to the piece. A soft cornered rectangle with frogs. Charming and whimsically painted. A simple cream round. Very nice, classical and clean. A much more detailed landscape in red on rectangle. The Kyoto style geometrics on the feet are a great touch. A really marvelous celadon porcelain piece in antique mirror shape. This is a nice container, but in this lighting it seems to positively glow. A dark blue glazed ect angle with flower panel in go Sai. Very interesting, very unique. Only a couple of potters made pieces like this: Mokuu and Koito Taizan. A personal collection of 9 Mokuu, really showing the diversity of form, shape, and color that Mokuu used. The belt painted piece(top, top left) and sometsuke rectangle (bottom,bottom right) are especially nice.
A really simple, really tiny “round”…at least from this front…. But turn it over and…. A taller round with carved landscape. Very nice and rustic If pressed, I would have guessed this was Koito Taizan. His style, and the style of Mokuu, are often very similar.
An odd and rustically painted black on crackle rectangle. Butterflies and flowers. Very modern.
Four views of a more classical landscape in black. Nice details and an excellent form, clean lines.
Our last look at the containers Alone of Hayashi Mokuu today is this excellent conch shell piece. Really unique and interesting for a small Kusamono or shitakusa for Shohin display.
And before I leave you….how about some trees in Hayashi Mokuu containers?
I hope you’ve enjoyed this look at the pottery of Hayashi Mokuu.
Up next, Kutani Aritomo on Monday, more from Kutani Ikko on Friday, and several more posts are written and in process, 2 per week, throughout the next month! Stay tuned!
Thanks for reading!