Koto Chukan

Like so many other great bonsai potters Fukuda Tadahiro was originally just a serious bonsai enthusiast who began by making containers for his own trees and enjoyment. Eventually he assumed the potter name Koto Chukan. He has been practicing Shohin bonsai for more than 40 years now, and has exhibited displays in the Gafu Ten Shohin Exhibition more than 30 times.
Currently, he lives and works in Kyoto. He only uses Shigaraki clay, owing to his training, where he learned under the guidance of Mr. Miho, a Shigaraki traditional craftsman potter.
As a bonsai container artist, Chukan is known for using unique twists on classical patterns so that the pots best suit bonsai. His awards in pottery exhibitions, including the exclusive Contemporary Artists Kobachi Exhibition held each year at Gafu Ten, are numerous. His technical skill with clay is as impressive as his unique glazing ability. Koto Chukan containers are handmade, rare, and one of a kind, as you will see from the following gallery, and as such can command pretty impressive prices for a living artist.
There used to be an excellent biography and awesome artist mark sheet(Chukan had a lot of marks!) for Koto Chukan on the Kojoen(a Kyoto Shohin Bonsai garden)website, but it was deleted when they redid their site. If you got to read it while it was still up you know a lot more about this artist than this article will give you.
Special thanks to Alex “Mai Bonsai” Rudd of the EBPC for use of some of his photos.

Awesome red tenmoku flower glaze with blooming crystals. Definitely a one of a kind glaze on a beautiful pot.
One from my collection, this Chukan was a happy surprise accident. I think I picked it up on an auction at a third of normal auction value. Cool color variations in blues and greens and nice microcrystals.
Koto Chukan display at the 11th Kobachi Exhibition.
And another from the 10th Annual Kobachi Artists Exhibition. Impressive glazes and complicated shapes on these pieces. The center rinka shape with peach blossom glaze and cat’s paw feet is my favorite.
Ao uwagasuri (green-blue glaze) rectangle with sliptrail underglaze decorations.
An incredibly detailed relief carved unglazed rectangle with rounded cut corners, formerly of my collection, that I regret selling! The only unglazed and most detailed carved pot I’ve seen from the artist.
Elongated mokko with an awesome mottled flambé glaze showing reds, pinks, and creams.
Hexagon glazed with reds and pinks with highly detailed relief carving and interesting base.
Mokko shape with swirling yohen Takatori Yu style glaze.
Flambé red glazed rectangle with thick thunder border decorated rim, incised corners, half cloud feet, and underglaze nail carving. A strong pot.
Japanese maple leaf pattern window decorated rectangle with blue green glaze, incised corners, and cut feet.
Hand carved single block rectangle with flower decoration and half cloud feet.
Red square with nail carved border on lip and abstract nail carved decoration.
Another formerly of my collection, a yellow crackle glazed oval with cut feet showing off Chukan’s unique tan Shigaraki clay.
Ruri glazed round with relief carving and nawa buchi(fun to say, this is a braided rope style lip).
Hand carved rectangle with sansui nail carving and thunder pattern decorated feet.
Blue oribe glaze with relief sculpted waves, fish, and unglazed cut feet.
Interesting elongated mokko shape with a very well executed oil spot tenmoku glaze. This glaze is much more difficult to get right like this than it seems.
Darker red and cream flambé with traditional sukashiburi fretwork carving.
Another from my collection, this is the smallest Chukan I’ve had at 3.5”.
Chicken blood red glazed rectangle with half cloud feet and nade kaku sumi iri(incised soft corners).
Green oribe yohen glazed shallow hexagon. Great depth to the glaze on this piece and a unique shape.
Pink, cream, and orange glazed mokko with full cloud feet and lip. An absolutely fabulous glaze on this piece.
Koto Chukan’s common stamps.
Square stamp, “Chukan”.
Butterfly Stamp and signature “Koto Chukan”.
“Koto Chukan” signature.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this look at the one of a kind Shohin bonsai pottery of Koto Chukan. Stay tuned for more artist profiles and galleries of artists we’ve covered in the past in future posts!

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 gastrognome@aol.com
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2 Responses to Koto Chukan

  1. Dan Beeman says:

    The kind of pots and glazes that potters’ dreams are made of!

  2. Roger Ferguson says:

    Beautiful glazes . For exceptional trees only or just to display and admire.
    Love these posts so informative, keep up the great work.

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