Who is this Guy?

My name is Ryan Bell and I’ve been collecting bonsai pots since 2011, a year after I began pursuing bonsai seriously, and I now have an extensive collection. After coming across a container without any information, I decided to research bonsai containers, and have since made it my specialty and passion. Since founding this website and beginning to lecture, I have travelled extensively to clubs and conventions in an effort to improve appreciation of ceramics in bonsai art.

My mission is to encourage appreciation of the art of bonsai pottery through accurate information, images, and history. This website is extensive with numerous articles about Japanese potters and bonsai container history, and includes the most extensive Chop, Signature, and Seal database in print, in any language. Lots of great information. To start learning about Bonsai Containers, see the Table of Contents.

Now…..On to the pots!


27 Responses to Who is this Guy?

  1. STIJN says:

    # 105F12: 117mm * 95mm * 43mm: @ 17000
    # 104F29: 100mm * 60mm: @ 14000
    # 28F14: 212mm * 212mm * 214mm: @ 90000
    # 101F9: 107mm * 79mm * 36mm: @ 8800

    Greetz STIJN

  2. Calvn Boey says:

    Hello Ryan,
    I saw some of the pictures of the bonsai pots.

    May I ask how I would go about to make a purchase on some of these pots?

    I look forward to hearing from you.


  3. GuillaumeB says:

    can you give me your email, i have an offer from poterie-du-monde.com for you.

    Kind regards, GuillaumeB

  4. José Pons says:

    Hi Ryan,
    I’ve tried to send you a email, but don’t work. I would like you help me about a seal.
    Thanks and congratulations for the blog, it’s very useful.

  5. What a fabulously helpful, informative and comprehensive site. Keep up the good work. Many thanks Dan Barton

  6. Hi Ryan, stumbled upon your site looking for info on Japanese pot manufacturers. Brilliant, keep it up. I am a member of the Scottish Bonsai Association and we are putting together an A to Z of bonsai on our website at http://www.scottishbonsai.org (for which I was dong some research). The A to Z is growing rapidly and users can add their own terms a bit like Wikipedia (which we research then make public). We are not necessarily trying to collect all bonsai information ourselves but like to point to informed web sites such as yours and have made an entry under pot seals which we point to your site. http://www.scottishbonsai.org/page.cfm?page=23&letter=P Wanted to ask as well if we could use one of your images on our site under the A to Z entry.

  7. Dear Ryan,

    Thank you for constructing a beautiful and useful web site,. We thoroughly enjoyed browsing through it. We provide few services for the Bonsai community including:

    – Custom made pottery (see link: http://lakesidepottery.com/Pages/Clay-ceramic-commission-custom-work.html )
    – Ceramic and pottery repair and restoration (see link: http://lakesidepottery.com/Pages/pottery-and-ceramic-fix-restoration-repair.html )

    – Kintsugi style repair with gold, silver and other effects (see link: http://lakesidepottery.com/Pages/kintsugi-repairing-ceramic-with-gold-and-lacquer-better-than-new.htm )
    If you find our services useful for posting on your web site, we will be delighted.

    Kindly, Patty and Morty

    Lakeside Pottery Pottery and Ceramic Restoration Studio
    543 Newfield Avenue
    Stamford, CT 06905

  8. Guillermo Cots says:

    Congratulations on this beautiful website. It is a true wonder for lovers of bonsai pots.
    I’m looking for information from four Japanese artists that I have some pot.
    I like to know some history of the authors.
    These artists are: Yamafusa, Satomi Terahata, Senkoen and Toen.
    Ustad can give me some information about them.
    I would be very grateful.
    My email is shohinbonsaistudio@gmail.com
    Thank you very much.

  9. Congratulations on this beautiful website. It is a true wonder for lovers of bonsai pots.
    I’m looking for information from four Japanese artists that I have some pot.
    I like to know some history of the authors.
    These artists are: Yamafusa, Satomi Terahata, Senkoen and Toen.
    Ustad can give me some information about them.
    I would be very grateful.
    My email is shohinbonsaistudio@gmail.com
    Thank you very much.

  10. edhula3 says:

    Dude… your site is awesome. Now I want to go buy every bonsai pot I can (this hobby wasn’t expensive enough).

    Would be cool to get something similar going for U.S. and western potters as well.

  11. feli7 says:

    me puedes enviar tu email.
    Estoy interesado en alguna maceta.

  12. Anthony says:

    Hi Ryan. I attended your lecture at the GNOBS meeting a few months ago. I got a pot for Christmas, and I’d like to send a picture of the chip for you to id. What address should I send to? Thanks

  13. Hello Ryan,

    Do you have any information on the origin of the suiban? Was it modeled on a pre-existing piece of ceramics used for display or serving? I am a stone collector.


    Richard Turner

  14. Masako Kaplan says:

    Hi, Ryan,
    I’m a granddaughter of Ichiyo Sansyu. I’m so happy that you have his bonsai pots, especially, an oval one which is my grandfather’s speciality. My siblings and I used to help my grandparents to take care of their bonsai. Great memories!


    • japanesepots says:

      Wow! That’s so cool. I’m a huge fan of your grandfather’s, especially his large ovals and suiban. I’ve had a lot of them, and plan to get more.
      If you look in the Bonsai Gardens of the Northeast, post 1, you’ll see one of the best ones I’ve ever seen. It’s a Canton Style shiki-kinyo glaze….lord it’s gorgeous. It was brought to the U.S. By Yuji Yoshimura in the 1950s. So nice. Thank you for your comment.

  15. Pingback: 5th US National Bonsai Exhibition | Bonsai & Yamadori from Tony Tickle

  16. middlk50 says:

    Hello again Ryan,
    I wrote to you before asking if we could add some links to your site from our A to Z of Bonsai on the http://www.scottishbonsai.org site. Well the number of entries on the site has grown to over 950 and pages have been viewed 580,000 times from 155 countries worldwide, who would have known it could be so popular. Then again one of the tools in my own personal bag is Search Engine Optimisation which is a hobby on the SBA site really. We don’t try to give the low down on every bonsai term but point to authoritative web sites that can. I would really like to add a section on Antique bonsai pots/potters which I personally find fascinating and I am sure our worldwide audience would as well, and I think you have got a whole load of stuff for us to be able add here which could both advertise your site and info about these old potters.
    If you are of a mind to make the information you have even more accessible we would add a new section into the A to Z which we could populate from the information that you have in one of two ways. A) If you have a spreadsheet with the info on that was e.g. Name, Some write up text, and a URL into your site to read more, we could copy and paste the info ourselves or B) There is a page on our site http://www.scottishbonsai.org/atoz/dictionaryadd.cfm where any of our users can add their own terms, url’s, photos etc which we then check for sanity (and spam) before adding it to the A to Z.
    I know that either of these options may be a bit of work for you but the number of links into your site would of course increase dramatically and perhaps open up a bit of a market here in the UK. Don’t feel bad about passing up the opportunity if you think it would be too much work, sometimes these things grow arms and legs and become a bit of a task which I know having taken on the development of the Scottish Bonsai Association website.
    Finally couldn’t leave without saying that I find your site fascinating, I have been a bonsai enthusiast for more than 20 years and would love some of your pots to put some of my special wee trees in. One day, one day!
    Kenny Middleton

    • japanesepots says:

      Kenny, you’re welcome to add links to my site, or use information or photos with attribution. I don’t have time for much else at the moment. Thanks.

    • Hello Kenny,

      Thanks for your kind comments — much appreciated, if indeed they were directed to me. I suppose my ‘age’ does qualify me as ‘antique’ — Haha!

      I don’t know that I can add anymore than what I have already posted in my site : http://www.danbartonbonsaipots.wordpress.com

      Another site that says a lot about me and my views is: http://artofbonsai.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2200

      I think these 2 sites just about say all there is to say about me and my pots and any other activities I may be engaged in.

      Am I jumping the gun or was your request strictly directed to Ryan Bell. Sorry, I’m a little confused by your attachment.



      • middlk50 says:

        Hi Dan,

        Thanks for that, we have been using a bit of info from your site, in particular some photos of pots and trees. My comments were not directed at you actually but everything I said applies to you and the wider bonsai audience – if anyone would like to add some entries in to the A to Z of Bonsai on the http://www.scottishbonsai.org site then we would be pleased.

        I think the software on this site has replied to some other posts inadvertently as I had not logged in when I created the entry. Confused.

  17. middlk50 says:

    Thanks Ryan, completely understand lack of time, but if it is OK to use your info that will help us to move this forward in a big way. Just need to find the time or get another SBA member to tackle this.

  18. James Davis says:

    Hi Ryan, my names Jim Davis. I recently purchased over 5 thousand pots from an auction last week. The number might actually be closer to 10 thousand. I was wondering if you might want to take a look at some pictures once I clean them up. From the looks of it some might be pre 1970 and have good glazes and persona. I’ve only been practicing bonsai for 4 years and went from having just a handful of purchased pots to more then anyone in the state lol give me a call if you. An at 908239 2357 . Thanks Jim

    • japanesepots says:

      Jim, you can shoot me an email at
      Gastrognome at aol dot com
      Happy to look at some photographs, but a real appraisal of a collection that large would best be done in person for obvious reasons.

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