The 11th Annual Shohin Pottery Competition (1)

Every year I look forward to Gafu Ten and the results of the big pottery competition and exhibition that is held there each year.  For articles on the previous exhibitions, click the over to the Table of Contents page under the menu bar.

Lots to talk about from this year’s exhibition, with many images, so I’ll be separating it into two posts.  First up, the winners, and the entries from last year’s gold medalists.

 Overviews of the exhibition.

Now, on to the pots!

Unglazed Containers


   The Gold medalists for the previous year aren’t eligible for prizes(nor are those who have won top honors more than a couple of times), but they are always invited to display in the following year. This was the entry from British Potter Andrew Pearson, of Stone Monkey Ceramics, who took gold last year. This year’s entry features real silver rivets. I was quite impressed with them. Very Classical but also very innovative. Extraordinarily clean lines, reminiscent of “The Razor” Heian Kouzan. Well done Andy. 
  Gold medal in the unglazed category went to Takashi Ono(大矢 忠), who won the category also in 2009 and 2011.  His carvings are some of the best of any bonsai potter of all time, rivaling the greats like Suruga Yamashou and Zeshin.  


  The Silver award went to Sugiahima Shigehiro, who goes by the potter name Hiroshi(宏).  An interesting trio of containers with good form and ash finish.  Hiroshi trained in the past with well known Shigaraki potters Hikari and Yamafutoshien.

 The bronze medal this year for unglazed containers went to Toyoki Yasumoto, who presented a series of 4 mini-bonsai containers.  Very excellent form for such small pieces.
Glazed Containers

   The gold award for Glazed pottery went to one of 3 students of blog favorite Fukuda Shigeru(Bushuan) who exhibited in this show. The artist is Kyuji Jinbo , who goes by the names Jinkozan (神久山) or Jinbe(じんべ).  He won the silver award in the category last year.  Excellent forms and glazes, you can certainly see the influence of his Teacher, of who Jinbe remarks that he taught him “the Joy of the flowerpot”.
 Silver medalist for glazed containers in this year’s show went to blog favorite Shunka Seizan. For the past articles on Shunka Seizan, click his name.  As usual, fantastic glazes, and good diversityof form for single block carved containers.

 After the show, I was fortunate enough to add one of the three winning containers to my collection.  An excellent example of Sango Yu(Coral Red Glaze).
   The bronze award for glazed containers went to Hiroshi Hirabayashi, for a quartet of glaze/enamel painted mini containers(the painted container category is strictly for landscape and figure paintings).  He studies bonsai at Yamato-en.  Good geometric designs and multiple shapes.
 Last years’ winner for glazed containers, Shinobu(who also took the Gold for unglazed containers in 2014), presented a trio of Hakkaku(octagon) containers with cloud feet.  Both glazed and unglazed, and all 3 very nice.  Formerly a hobby potter, Shinobu is now in full production, and in addition to Glazed and Unglazed containers, makes excellent tenpai.  

 Shinobu award winning glazed container from 2015. Shinobu Hut Tenpai and moss shitakusa from my collection.

Painted Containers

   Gold in painted containers this year 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.  He also won bronze in 2015 and silver in 2014.

 A couple of other examples of Shunhou’s work.

  The silver award in painted containers went to Shintaro Tamura, who goes by the trade name Matsutake.  His father(Takeo Tamura) is a well-known collector of containers, and his brother also exhibited in this show.  Great variety of shapes, very clean clay work.  And disarmingly simple but lovely paintings.  Shibui.  Bronze this year went to Kyogoku Shiho.  If you check the Table of Contents there’s an older article about this painter.  Excellent details and classical styles.  A sharp contrast to the “less is more”Aesthetic of the silver award winner above! 
Last year’s winner in the category, Yamada Shigetoshi(Shun) presented three containers showing excellently detailed paintings and a good diversity of form.

  And last of all, the special exhibition from Ito Gekkou.  Gekkou has won enough awards, of course, so these were for display only.  Great to see his current style, and how it’s changed so much from earlier works.
Thanks for Reading!  Stay Tuned!  Tomorrow I’ll post Part 2, looking at the other entrants into the exhibition!


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 Modern Potters, My Personal Collection. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The 11th Annual Shohin Pottery Competition (1)

  1. Tony Tickle says:

    Reblogged this on Bonsai & Yamadori from Tony Tickle and commented:
    Andy Pearson my Stone Monkey buddy is here

  2. Sage Smith says:

    Sweet pottery bliss. I’m loving this years winner in unglazed and last years winner in painted even more so. I’ve been very much looking forward to your next post. Thanks much for keeping the dream alive

  3. Reblogged this on Tree in a Pot and commented:

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