The Kura - Japanese Art Treasures
Robert Mangold has been working with Japanese antiques since 1995 with an emphasis on ceramics, Paintings, Armour and Buddhist furniture.
In accordance with the requests of local authorities our Kyoto gallery will be closed to visitors from April 14th until further notice.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1900 item #1426886 (stock #TCR7891)
The Kura
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Wild chrysanthemum rise along a brief poem on the cream-colored sides of these Tokkuri by Seifu Yohei enclosed in the original signed wooden box titled Seizan Sakabin. They are 15 cm (just under six inches) tall and in excellent condition. There is a pre-firing imperfection in the rim of one of the Tokkuri.
Seifu Yohei I (1803-1861) founded the Seifu dynasty in Kyoto. He was born in powerful Kaga-kuni, modern day Kanazawa prefecture. After apprenticing with the second generation Dohachi, he established his own kiln in the Gojo-zaka pottery district of Kyoto. Seifu Yohei II (1844-1878) took over that world upon his father’s death and continued to elevate the family name. His work was presented at the Philadelphia Worlds Fair in 1876, that piece was purchased at the time by the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. He held the reigns for only a short time, and died at the very young age of 34, leaving the kiln to brother in law, who would hurl the name of Seifu onto the annals of history recording the highest qualities of world porcelain artistry. For more on this illustrious lineage see the book Seifu Yohei by Seki Kazuo (2012).
All Items : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1930 item #1426885 (stock #TCR7890)
The Kura
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A set of delicately dimpled Tokkuri in simple, Hagi earth tones by the father of Hagi Revival Sakakura Shinbei XII enclosed in the original signed wooden box. Hagi is known for this simple, crackled glaze into which color infuses with use. In fact it is said a piece of Hagi is not complete until this process has occurred over the many years, creating that special feeling particular to Hagi. They are 5 inches (12.5 cm) tall and in excellent condition.
Sakakura Shinbei XII (1881-1960) was first born into an unbroken line of potters going back to the founding of the Hagi tradition in the Momoyama period. He learned, of course, at home as well as under the 9th generation Saka Koraizaemon. He was handed the reins of the family kiln in 1897. He worked tirelessly to maintain the heritage and history of Hagi. He cultivated his connection with the Urasenke Tea School, helping to preserve the position of Hagi in the tea world order which was so important to the continuation of the tradition in the impoverished post war era. (The old saying of tea utensil ranking goes; Ichi Raku, Ni Hagi, San Karatsu). He is credited with being one of the small group who revived Hagi ware in the 20th century, preserving the traditions and researching lost techniques, rescuing it from obscurity. In 1955 he was designated an Intangible Cultural Property of Yamaguchi (Prefectural level version of the Living National Treasure). Work by him is held in the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo as well as The Hagi Uragami Museum among others.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1900 item #1426876 (stock #TCR7889)
The Kura
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Pair of Tokkuri by Kiyomizu Rokubei III enclosed in an old period kiri-wood collectors’ box. Properly titled I suppose these would be Tetsu-kaburi Iro-e Gohon Tokkuri (Sake flasks of Gohon style with colorful overglaze decoration wearing iron from the top). 16.5 cm (6-1/2 inches) tall. There are very high-quality repairs in gold to the rims.
Kiyomizu Rokubei III (1820-1883) was born the second son of the second generation Rokubei, real name Kuritaro. He studied pottery under his father, and literati painting under the great Oda Kaisen. It was he who bought the Noborigama kiln on the Gojozaka in 1848. Entering into the new open era of the Meiji, Rokubei worked closely with the newly established prefectural government to develop the industries and arts of Kyoto. He began producing western style dishes, and his works were submitted to many public exhibitions, at which he was also often called to serve as judge. From the age of 18 he took the name Shoun, which he used until becoming the third Rokubei in He was known to have collaborated with various literati including the female poet Otagaki Rengetsu. A tea bowl by Rokubei III is held in the collection of the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art.
All Items : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1930 item #1426875 (stock #TCR7888)
The Kura
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Gold reflects the shimmering light on the feathers of the Kawasemi (Kingfisher) perched attentive on a branch over the raw earth of this flower vessel by Miyagawa (Makuzu) Kozan II enclosed in the original signed wood box titled: Suhada Iro-e Medake ni Kawasemi Chokoku Kabin (Vase of un-glazed clay with Kingfisher on Bamboo). Interestingly he has chosen two separate characters, both of which can be read Kawasemi, but combined are the word for Jade, making a play on words and imagery in the title. Roughly 8 inches (20 cm) diameter, 9-1/2 inches (24 cm) tall and in excellent condition. It is accompanied by a Mokuroku certificate of authentication from the Bijutsu Club written in Showa 16 (1941).
The name Kozan was granted by Prince Yasui-no-Miya in 1851 in honor of the tea ware produced during the later Edo for the imperial Court by the tenth-generation head of the Kyoto pottery family Miyagawa Chozo. The Kozan (Makuzu) kiln as we know it today was established in Yokohama in 1871 by the 11th generation head of the family where he reinvented the family business. He immediately set out on a journey which would propel the Kozan name to International Celebrity status, and send his wares throughout the globe. Pieces produced there were marked Kozan, or Makuzu, the official kiln name, or both. Although he had been running the daily operation since the late 19th century, the first son, Hanzan, succeeded as head of the kiln, in 1912, with the father officially retiring to spend more time on his own research and art. Kozan I dies in 1916. The kiln was run by Hanzan (1859-1940) through the early Showa era, he officially taking the name Kozan II in 1917, after one-year mourning for his father’s passing. Under Hanzan the kiln was commissioned for works to be presented to the Prince of Wales, the 25th wedding anniversary gift for the Taisho emperor and the Showa Emperors coronation gift. The unlucky third generation inherited the kiln at the height of the war years, it was completely destroyed in the bombing of Yokohama in 1945. For more on this illustrious family see Bridging East and West, Japanese Ceramics from the Kozan Studio by Kathleen Emerson-Dell.
All Items : Artists : Mixed Media : Contemporary item #1426510 (stock #MOR7880)
The Kura
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Nagakura Kenichi's artwork is imbued with a primal energy and balance executed with a keen understanding of composition. Each piece combines classic Japanese bamboo basketry techniques with a contemporary artist's sensibility. He steps outside traditional limitations of form, function and material, challenging our concept of customary bamboo. The transition from container to sculpture is further explored in this piece, with expressive curves and a lack of any definable shape. This earth encrusted style is perhaps the most easily identifiable in his oeuvre; a technique pioneered and unique to him. The amorphic form is 36 x 30 x 26 cm (14 x 12 x 10 inches) and in excellent condition. Light intermingling from various angles through the organic sculpture creates a dramatic, contemplative atmosphere.
Nagakura Kenichi (1952-2018) treated bamboo as a purely sculptural medium. He creates unconventional, organic forms, sometimes accented with pieces of found wood and coated with finishes of his own creation. Nagakura spent years learning traditional bamboo techniques from his grandfather before innovating his own style. Bamboo, says the artist, is an ideal material to express nature: “Bamboo can be either delicate like a spider web or solid as stone, thus embodying the natural cycles of the world.”. Bamboo Sculptures and baskets are held the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, the Herbert F Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Minneapolis Institute of Art, the Mint Museum of Craft in North Carolina, and in the National Gallery of Victoria, among others.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1920 item #1426422 (stock #TCR7879)
The Kura
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Gold gleams on the edges of the sasa bamboo leaves decorating this Ninsei style vessel by Miyagawa (Makuzu) Kozan II enclosed in the original signed wood box titled: Kenzan Utsushi Zen-Sasa-no-e Kabin (Kenzan style Vase decorated with Wild Bamboo Leaves). It is 23 cm (9 inches) diameter, 21.5 cm (8-1/2 inches) tall and in excellent condition.
The name Kozan was granted by Prince Yasui-no-Miya in 1851 in honor of the tea ware produced during the later Edo for the imperial Court by the tenth-generation head of the Kyoto pottery family Miyagawa Chozo. The Kozan (Makuzu) kiln as we know it today was established in Yokohama in 1871 by the 11th generation head of the family where he reinvented the family business. He immediately set out on a journey which would propel the Kozan name to International Celebrity status, and send his wares throughout the globe. Pieces produced there were marked Kozan, or Makuzu, the official kiln name, or both. Although he had been running the daily operation since the late 19th century, the first son, Hanzan, succeeded as head of the kiln, in 1912, with the father officially retiring to spend more time on his own research and art. Kozan I dies in 1916. The kiln was run by Hanzan (1859-1940) through the early Showa era, he officially taking the name Kozan II in 1917, after one-year mourning for his father’s passing. Under Hanzan the kiln was commissioned for works to be presented to the Prince of Wales, the 25th wedding anniversary gift for the Taisho emperor and the Showa Emperors coronation gift. The unlucky third generation inherited the kiln at the height of the war years, it was completely destroyed in the bombing of Yokohama in 1945. For more on this illustrious family see Bridging East and West, Japanese Ceramics from the Kozan Studio by Kathleen Emerson-Dell.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Porcelain : Pre 1920 item #1425179 (stock #TCR7868)
The Kura
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The mastery of expression accomplished by Suwa Sozan I is evident in this pair of porcelain children enclosed in the original signed wooden box titled Gosai Doshi Okimono (Five Colored Figure of Children). This piece is published in the definitive book “Suwa Sozan Sakuhin Shu” (1971). In the book the photo title is more specific “Gosai Mimiakatori Karako Okimono” (Five Color Figure of Chinese Children Cleaning Ears) and the work is dated to 1913. The fellow doing the cleaning is absorbed in his work, an intense expression on his face, while the other fellow smiles with glee, leaning into his compatriots hands. It is 22 x 11 x 18 cm (9 x 4-1/2 x 7 inches). There are losses to the glazing, some of which are evident in the photograph in the book as well.
Sozan I (1852-1922) was born in Kutani country, present day Ishikawa prefecture, where he initially studied before moving to Tokyo in 1875. Over the next 25 years he would gravitate between Tokyo and Kanazawa, working at various kilns and research facilities. He again relocated, this time to Kyoto in 1900 to manage the Kinkozan Studio before establishing his own. His name became synonymous with celadon and refined porcelain and was one of only five potters to be named Teishitsu Gigei-in. The Teishitsu Gigei-in were members of the Imperial Art Academy, Perhaps in modern terms one might call them the predecessors to the Living National Treasures. However unlike the LNT, there were only five Pottery artists ever named Teishitsu Gigei-in, Ito Tozan, Suwa Sozan, Itaya Hazan, Miyagawa Kozan, and Seifu Yohei III. He was succeeded by his adopted daughter upon his death. He is held in the Kyoto National Museum among many others.
All Items : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Porcelain : Pre 1950 item #1425093 (stock #TCR7867)
The Kura
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A white pidgeon perches on a discarded or fallen roof tile decorated with calligraphy by Miyanaga Tozan enclosed in the original signed wooden box. It is 9 inches (23 cm) tall and in excellent condition. I believe this is likely by the second generation.
Miyanaga Tozan I (1868-1941) is one of the most important names in Kyoto ceramics. He was born in Ishikawa prefecture, and graduated from the (now) Tokyo University of Art. While a government employee, he represented Japan at Arts Expositions, and studied art in Europe before returning to Japan in 1902 to devote himself to the production of ceramics, with great emphasis on celadon, one of the most difficult of all ceramic wares. He was direct teacher or mentor to a number of prominent artists including Kitaoji Rosanjin and Arakawa Toyozo. He was succeeded by his adopted daughter who brought a refreshing variation of color and delicate touch to the porcelains they produced. The kiln is now in the third generation, run by his grandson.
All Items : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1960 item #1425092 (stock #TCR7866)
The Kura
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A rare Izushi Yaki Pottery vase in typical textured white engraved with a dragon in roiling clouds. Unusual for Izushi, which is better known for small items, it is exceptionally large, at 11 inches (28 cm) tall and in excellent condition.
Izuya Yazaemon and Izumiya Jirobei began the Izushi tradition in 1764 when they established a kiln on borrowed land in the Tajima realm specializing in earthenware. The production of porcelain began some 25 years later, gaining official support from the domain warlord in 1799. In the late Edo it was privatized with several kilns in production at the time. Production increased through the Meiji, but fell into decline with the progress of industrialization, and in an effort to preserve the tradition it was recognized by Hyogo prefecture breaking ground on a communal facility and the foundation of the Izushi Ceramics Union in 1931.
All Items : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Porcelain : Pre 1940 item #1424366 (stock #TCR7855)
The Kura
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A truly magnificent vase of pastel blue floral designs on yellow-green body by Miyanaga Tozan enclosed in the original signed wooden box. It is 8 inches (20 cm) tall and in excellent condition. It retains the original wooden base. I believe this is by the second generation.
Miyanaga Tozan I (1868-1941) is one of the most important names in Kyoto ceramics. He was born in Ishikawa prefecture, and graduated from the (now) Tokyo University of Art. While a government employee, he represented Japan at Arts Expositions, and studied art in Europe before returning to Japan in 1902 to devote himself to the production of ceramics, with great emphasis on celadon, one of the most difficult of all ceramic wares. He was direct teacher or mentor to a number of prominent artists including Kitaoji Rosanjin and Arakawa Toyozo. He was succeeded by his adopted daughter who brought a refreshing variation of color and delicate touch to the porcelains they produced. The kiln is now in the third generation, run by his grandson.
All Items : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Metalwork : Pre 1980 item #1424365 (stock #TCR7854)
The Kura
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A fabulous Koro covered in damascened gold by Ibuse Keisuke enclosed in the original signed wooden box titled Nunome Zogan Jungin Koro (Damascene Pure Silver Incense Burner). It is 11 cm (4-1/2 inches) tall, 9.5 cm (3-3/4 inches) diameter and in excellent condition.
Ibuse Keisuke was born in Tokyo in 1930, and began his studies of metal arts in 1950 under Unno Takeo. By the late fifties he was exhibiting with the Kofukai (where he would later be awarded) as well as the Nitten National Art Exhibition, and in the early sixties would begin exhibiting at the Gendai Kogeiten Modern Crafts Exhibition. In 1974 he would be awarded at the Dento Kogei Shinsaku Ten (New Traditional Crafts Exhibition), and in ’76 at the Dento Kogei Musashino Ten, followed by awards at the Dento Kogei Kinko Shinsaku Ten and Dento Kogei Ten with his work being collected by the Imperial Household Agency in 1981. The following years Hiroshima Prefectural Museum, Fukuyama Museum as well as again The Imperial Household Agency would purchase pieces for their permanent collections.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Porcelain : Pre 1920 item #1424187 (stock #TCR7853)
The Kura
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Deep in contemplation, the recumbent figure of Lao Tzu rests in quiet contemplation, the picture of serenity by Miyagawa (Makuzu) Kozan II enclosed in the original signed wooden box titled Haku-korai-I Roshi Okimono (Figure of Lao Tzu In White Korean Style). The robes are exquisitely renderedIt is 20 x 26.5 x 17 cm (8 x 10-1/2 x 7 inches) and is in excellent condition.
For an identical figure see the book Miyagawa Kozan Ten (1986) plates 175
Lao Tzu, also rendered as Laozi or Lao-Tze, was an an extraordinary thinker who flourished during the sixth century B.C.E., the founder of philosophical Taoism, and a deity in traditional Chinese religions. He is the reputed author of the Tao Te Ching commonly translated as the “Classic of the Way and Virtue.” Its influence on Chinese culture is pervasive, and it reaches beyond China. It is concerned with the Dao or “Way” and how it finds expression in “virtue”, especially through what the text calls “naturalness” and “nonaction”. Perhaps our own journey to meet him may come from one of his most famous quotes, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
The name Kozan was granted by Prince Yasui-no-Miya in 1851 in honor of the tea ware produced during the later Edo for the imperial Court by the tenth-generation head of the Kyoto pottery family Miyagawa Chozo. The Kozan (Makuzu) kiln as we know it today was established in Yokohama in 1871 by the 11th generation head of the family where he reinvented the family business. He immediately set out on a journey which would propel the Kozan name to International Celebrity status, and send his wares throughout the globe. Pieces produced there were marked Kozan, or Makuzu, the official kiln name, or both. Although he had been running the daily operation since the late 19th century, the first son, Hanzan, succeeded as head of the kiln, in 1912, with the father officially retiring to spend more time on his own research and art. Kozan I dies in 1916. The kiln was run by Hanzan (1859-1940) through the early Showa era, he officially taking the name Kozan II in 1917, after one-year mourning for his father’s passing. Under Hanzan the kiln was commissioned for works to be presented to the Prince of Wales, the 25th wedding anniversary gift for the Taisho emperor and the Showa Emperors coronation gift. The unlucky third generation inherited the kiln at the height of the war years, it was completely destroyed in the bombing of Yokohama in 1945. For more on this illustrious family see Bridging East and West, Japanese Ceramics from the Kozan Studio by Kathleen Emerson-Dell.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Porcelain : Pre 1920 item #1424159 (stock #TCR7852)
The Kura
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Young pine and bright flowers blossom among gilded hills on this Tea Leaf Jar (Chatsubo) shaped vase by Miyagawa (Makuzu) Kozan II enclosed in the original signed double wood box titled: Ninsei-I Kuro-yu Iro-e Komatsu-ga Kabin (Ninsei style Black Glazed Colorful Design Young Pine Vase). It is accompanied by a “Mokuroku” record as having been received as a gift in 1931. It is 29 cm (11-1/2 inches) tall, 21.5 cm (8-1/2 inches) diameter and in excellent condition.
For similar forms see the book Miyagawa Kozan Ten (1986) plates 35, 36 and 47, or Miyagawa Kozan the World of Makuzu Ware (2001) plates 128, 172 and 173
The name Kozan was granted by Prince Yasui-no-Miya in 1851 in honor of the tea ware produced during the later Edo for the imperial Court by the tenth-generation head of the Kyoto pottery family Miyagawa Chozo. The Kozan (Makuzu) kiln as we know it today was established in Yokohama in 1871 by the 11th generation head of the family where he reinvented the family business. He immediately set out on a journey which would propel the Kozan name to International Celebrity status, and send his wares throughout the globe. Pieces produced there were marked Kozan, or Makuzu, the official kiln name, or both. Although he had been running the daily operation since the late 19th century, the first son, Hanzan, succeeded as head of the kiln, in 1912, with the father officially retiring to spend more time on his own research and art. Kozan I dies in 1916. The kiln was run by Hanzan (1859-1940) through the early Showa era, he officially taking the name Kozan II in 1917, after one-year mourning for his father’s passing. Under Hanzan the kiln was commissioned for works to be presented to the Prince of Wales, the 25th wedding anniversary gift for the Taisho emperor and the Showa Emperors coronation gift. The unlucky third generation inherited the kiln at the height of the war years, it was completely destroyed in the bombing of Yokohama in 1945. For more on this illustrious family see Bridging East and West, Japanese Ceramics from the Kozan Studio by Kathleen Emerson-Dell.
All Items : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Porcelain : Pre 1940 item #1423925 (stock #TCR7845)
The Kura
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Leaping green fish soar up the sides over tempestuous crackled celadon waves crashing over the matte blue of this exquisite Mizusashi fresh water container by Sawada Sozan enclosed in the original signed wooden box. It comes with a pottery lid as well as a black lacquered lid (Kaebuta). It is 18 cm (7 inches) tall, 13 cm (5 inches) diameter and in excellent condition.
Sawada Sozan (1881-1963) was born in Kyoto and graduated the Tokyo School of Fine Arts. He attended the Arts Department of Columbia College in the United States where he researched design, and after touring Europe, returned to Japan in 1907 where he established the Sawada Design Institute in Kyoto. He designed textiles, posters, sake labels alongside his exploration of the clay medium. In 1917 he established a kiln in the Momoyama district of Fushimi in Southern Kyoto (this box is signed Momoyama Sozan Saku). He exhibited with the Bunten-Teiten- National Exhibitions and eventually was selected to serve as a judge there. From the mid ‘30s, with the darkening of world affairs, he began to focus more on private exhibition. Several works are held in the permanent collection of the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Devotional Objects : Pre 1910 item #1423412 (stock #MOR7839)
The Kura
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A Carved and Gilded Buddhist Reliquary containing a polished pink stone exhibited at the Shimane Prefectural Musuem Arakawa Kisai exhibition in 1974 enclosed in a custom-made wooden box and retaining the loan papers from the museum as well as the original pamphlet. The wood body has been carved in tempestuous waves, lacquered black and gilded, with a polished pink orb inside a flame shaped finial. It is 7 inches (18 cm) tall and in excellent condition.
Arakawa Kisai (dates disputed, roughly 1827-1906) was born the son of a carpenter in Shimane prefecture. He was considered a child prodigy by the age of five, and began sculpting around his tenth birthday. He received a proper education, and by the time he was twelve his clay sculptures were a popular collector’s item. At the age of fourteen his artistic training began in earnest, working as a netsuke carver, he studied shrine architecture while also taking painting lessons from Nabeshima Ungaku, his son Kagaku and Buddhist sculpture under Kato Saori (sp?). Successful in these endeavors, at the age of 28 he would also begin metal sculpting while keeping company with artisans of all trades, absorbing many skills. With the opening of the country in the Meiji era, he would begin studying Nanga painting under Nakanishi Koseki as well as Western style oil painting under pioneering artist Yokoyama Matsusaburo who would be considered a master at photography, lithography and painting. He submitted a piece to the first Naikoku Hakurankai (1877 National Industrial Exhibition) which was awarded and collected by the Imperial Household. He studied Physics, and developed a number of important inventions including weaving machines. His work was awarded at both the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, and the Paris World Exposition in 1900. One work considered his masterpiece, a carving of the mythological Princess Inada, is held in the collection of Izumo Shrine, one of the most holy sites in Shintoism. The Arakawa Kisai Ten in which this was featured was held n 1974, and his work was again the focus of attention with the exhibit “The Japanese Aesthetic Hearn Loved, Sculptor Arakawa Kisai and Lafcadion Hearn held in 2018-2019. An excerpt from that show: In August of 1890, Lafcadio Hearn would be transferred to Matsue, and discover a certain stone statue while out for a walk. Hearn became mesmerized by the statue, a friendly Buddhist Jizo which overflowed with benevolence and belonged to the Ryusho-ji Temple in Teramachi. Hearn immediately asked after the sculptor, and this was how he came to know the name Arakawa Kisai. The very next day, Hearn visited Kisai’s workshop, where he became enamored with the skill and demeanor of the master sculptor. The two men discussed the arts and are said to have hit it off very well (San-in Shimbun Newspaper). Hearn would go on to commission pieces from Kisai in an effort to introduce the sculptor to the world, as a producer might promote an artist. The bond these two men shared can be glimpsed today in Hearn’s writings; the diaries of Nishida Sentaro, who was Deputy Head Teacher of Shimane Prefectural Common Middle School and Hearn’s good friend; letters to Nishida; contemporary newspaper articles (San-in Shimbun); and other sources.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Porcelain : Pre 1920 item #1423336 (stock #TCR7834)
The Kura
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An exceptional boxed set of sake cups made by Seifu Yohei III lined with silver by Nakagawa Joeki (IX or X) enclosed in the original compartmentalized kiri-wood box signed by both artists. Each cup is unique, silver on blue, gold on red, and green on yellow, each stamped by the artist and displaying the celebratory Plum, Pine and Bamboo (Shochikubai) motif. They are 2-12 inches (6.3 cm) diameter each and in excellent condition.
Seifu Yohei III (1851-1914) was the adopted son of Yohei II. Sent at the age of twelve to study painting under then the top Nanga artist Tanomura Chokunyu, he returned in 1865 due to illness. The next year he entered as an apprentice the Seifu studio, then under the control of the second generation. As so often happens in these situations, in 1872 he married the daughter, becoming a “Yoji” or adopted son of Yohei II and taking the family name, established himself as an individual artist. Within the year his genius was discovered, and works by him were sent to the Vienna World Exposition. Seifu II retires of illness in 1878, and III succeeds the family kiln. Once again he is honored as the new head of the kiln to produce the dinnerware for the former president of the US Ulysses Grant. His work was highly acclaimed, both domestically and abroad, drawing honors and prizes at the Naikoku Hakurankai (National Exhibition), Chicago and Paris World expositions and being named one of the first members of the Imperial Art Academy specializing in ceramics in 1893 (Tei shitsu Gigei In). Works by this rare artist are held in Museums and collections throughout the world. He was succeeded by the fourth generation Seifu (1871-1951) in 1914.
Likely by Nakagawa Joeki IX (1849-1911), he became the head of the Nakagawa family, a lineage of Kyoto artists who had specialized mainly in making utensils for the tea ceremony at a time when support for the Tea Ceremony reached unprecedented lows. This was due to the association of Tea with the former ruling class. Nakagawa Joeki received the support of the Mitsui family to compensate for the loss of traditional patronage during the Meiji era and is remembered for creating highly accomplished works. Nakagawa Junsaburo (Joeki X, 1880-1940) was the took the reins in 1911, He headed the line from1911-1940, covering the reign of 3 emperors, he was greatly favored by tea masters at the time.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Porcelain : Pre 1920 item #1422729 (stock #TCR7825)
The Kura
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Taking a break from Easter, a very unusual white Koro incense burner in the shape of a long-eared rabbit by Miyagawa (Makuzu) Kozan enclosed in the original signed wooden box titled Koro and dated Taisho 4 (1915). It is 15 x 14 x 11 cm (6 x 5-1/2 x 4-1/4 inches) and is in excellent condition.
The name Kozan was granted by Prince Yasui-no-Miya in 1851 in honor of the tea ware produced during the later Edo for the imperial Court by the tenth-generation head of the Kyoto pottery family Miyagawa Chozo. The Kozan (Makuzu) kiln as we know it today was established in Yokohama in 1871 by the 11th generation head of the family where he reinvented the family business. He immediately set out on a journey which would propel the Kozan name to International Celebrity status, and send his wares throughout the globe. Pieces produced there were marked Kozan, or Makuzu, the official kiln name, or both. Although he had been running the daily operation since the late 19th century, the first son, Hanzan, succeeded as head of the kiln, in 1912, with the father officially retiring to spend more time on his own research and art. Kozan I dies in 1916. The kiln was run by Hanzan through the early Showa era, he officially taking the name Kozan II in 1917, after one-year mourning for his father’s passing. Under Hanzan the kiln was commissioned for works to be presented to the Prince of Wales, the 25th wedding anniversary gift for the Taisho emperor and the Showa Emperors coronation gift. The kiln was completely destroyed in the bombing of Yokohama in 1945. For more on this illustrious family see Bridging East and West, Japanese Ceramics from the Kozan Studio by Kathleen Emerson-Dell.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Porcelain : Pre 1920 item #1422519 (stock #TCR7823)
The Kura
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A classic Gu vase of exquisite white porcelain by Miura Chikusen enclosed in the original signed double-wood box. It is 13-1/4 inches) tall, 19 cm (7-1/2 inches) diameter at the rim and in excellent condition. This type of Sinophile work was very popular throughout the Meiji and Taisho periods, and Sencha steeped tea had a profound impact on Japanese culture at the time. For more on that see the book ‘Tea of the Sages: The Art of Sencha’ by Patricia Graham (1998).
Miura Chikusen I (1854-1915) made a name for himself as a strict adherent to and supplier of Sencha tea wares in Kyoto; one of the most important artists in the country for that genre. He studied under Takahashi Dohachi from the age of 13, before establishing his own studio in 1883. He was a feature in the literati community of Kyoto and was well known also as a painter, poet and calligraphist. His porcelains were considered of the highest grade throughout the Meiji era, and are still highly collectable today. The Eldest son took over after his father assuming the family name as Chikusen II, but died young in 1920 leaving a young child, whereupon his younger brother took over as Chikusen, III. However when Chikusen IIs eldest son was old enough, III relinquished the helm, appointing his nephew Chikusen IV and assuming the name Chikuken (Chikken). The kiln continues, currently under the management of the fifth generation.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Porcelain : Pre 1920 item #1422430 (stock #TCR7822)
The Kura
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Not quite the Easter Bunny, but perhaps close to an Easter Egg, the design on this vase is both classical and modern, reminiscent of Kenzan and his use of patterns and colors, surmounted by a sometsuke underglaze blue dragon among roiling cobalt clouds. The pot dates from the late 19th to early 20th century, classic Meiji period but for the unusually bright and cheerful rows of yellow, blue and green florals on red. The dragon blends with the clouds, with a single gold line delineating his body, and red flame whirling off from his legs. It is 11 inches (28 cm) tall, 9 inches (23 cm) diameter and in excellent condition.
All Items : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Lacquer : Pre 1980 item #1418930 (stock #MOR7100)
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Sakura blossoms begin to open among the draping branches of a weeping willow soughing in the breeze on this beautiful lacquer box by Inami Kirokusai enclosed in the original signed wooden box titled Wajima Nuri Soshun Maki-e Suzuri Bako (Ink Stone Box of Early Spring Design from Wajima). The design is performed over highly polished black, the interior in nashiji with pine saplings in raised design around the ink stone and water dropper. It is 24.5 x 13 x 3 cm (10 x 5 x 1-1/2 inches) and in excellent condition.
The four generations of the Inami family spanning the Meiji to contemporary were the subject of a major retrospective at the Ishikawa Wajima Lacquer Museum in 2013.
All Items : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Lacquer : Pre 1950 item #1418809 (stock #MOR7098)
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Mullberry wood grain roils like ripples in the sand forming the dark basin of this large tea service tray over which grows a single branch of fruit bearing grapes. It is signed in red lacquer beneath and enclosed in the original signed wooden box by Kinjo Ikkokusai. The tray is 51 x 34 cm (20 x 13-1/2 inches) and in excellent condition. On the underside of the box is a seal reading Kuwa Kobon and gives the collection name Morishita Shozo (Held by Morishita).
Ikkokusai I (1777-1852) was born in Ise, Mie prefecture, and was trained in the lacquer arts in Osaka. His talent was recognized and in 1811 he was taken as an official artist of the Tokugawa Clan, relatives of the Shogun and Feudal lords of Owari near present day Nagoya. All three of his sons would take the name Ikkokusai, His first son, (true name Nakamura Yoshiyuki), would settle in Osaka, and works he made were presented at the first National Industrial Art Exhibition (Naikoku Sangyo Hakurankai) in the early Meiji period. The third son (Sawagi Tsunesuke, 1822-1875) would remain and work in Nagoya until his death. The second son (Nakamura Issaku) would leave the Owari province to further his studies, traveling throughout Japan and developing the Takamorie technique of built up layers of lacquer creating nearly 3-dimensional works. He would become the carrier of the name, and after a sojourn in Hagi (Choshu), moved to Hiroshima in 1843 where he would pass on his techniques and experience to Kinoshita Kentaro (1829-1915). It was Kentaro who would officially become the third head of the family and who brought the name to the fore with his dedication to Takamorie lacquering. Kinjo Ikkokusai IV (1876-1961) continued to develop the method with new materials and designs. The family is currently under the 7th generation (b. 1965) who was named an important cultural property of Hiroshima Prefecture in 2011.
All Items : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Tea Articles : Pre 1950 item #1418698 (stock #MOR7095)
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A halo surrounds the emaciated figure of a Rakan (Arhat or Arahat) seated atop a stone draped in billowing robes clutching a nyoi scepter in his bony left fist. The holy figure is chiseled and polished with extreme care and attention to detail. The detail in the carving is striking, as bamboo is notoriously hard and difficult to work. Setting it apart from most bamboo carving is a complex pattern of extremely fine chiseled texture throughout. It comes enclosed in a wooden box signed Raizan and dated Showa 16 (1941). It is 19.5 x 6.5 cm (7-1/2 x 2-1/2 inches) and in excellent condition.
The Sago is a decorative spoon used in preparation of Steeped tea. For more see the definitive book Tea of the Sages: The Art of Sencha, by Patricia J Graham (1998).
In Buddhist lore the Rakan is one who has broken the chain of re-birth and overcome the three poisons of desire, hatred and ignorance. It is a popular theme in both Chinese and Japanese art.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Lacquer : Pre 1800 item #1416974 (stock #MOR7085)
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An exquisite wooden plate in cinnabar lacquer over black wrapped in a chord bound cloth bag end enclosed in an age blackened kiri-wood box dating from the Edo period. The surface of brilliant red has been worn through with handling revealing the black beneath about the rim and edges. It is 9 inches (23 cm) diameter and in excellent condition. The bottom is a brown tinged black (the brown is a product of oxidation, inherent only with age) upon which are written two characters in red. The box is titled Negoro Nuri Bon (Negoro lacquered Tray) and inside the box lid is written the name of the owner: ?hekitei Zo-gu (Collection of ?hekitei). The first character is too abbreviated to make a definitive reading.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1900 item #1416887 (stock #TCR7084)
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Rivulets of green glaze descend all sides of this sublime storage jar, the bottom raw red Tamba clay dating from the Edo period. About the rim are four “mimi” ears for tying down the wooden bung. The base is slightly concave and burnt to a rock like texture. The vessel is 12 inches (30 cm) tall, 11-1/2 inches (29 cm) diameter and in excellent condition. Tamba is considered as one of Japan’s six famous ancient kilns, along with Seto, Tokoname, Echizen, Shigaraki and Bizen. It is known for a solemn, austere atmosphere, and for the beautiful green pine-ash glaze. The origins are purported to be in the late Heian period, when it was called Onohara ware. Traditionally it is coil formed, or turned counter clockwise on a wheel. Early pieces were fired in anagama, until the Momoyama period, when the advent of the climbing kiln offered increased production and possibilities and hire firing temperatures.
All Items : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1940 item #1416716 (stock #TCR7080)
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Feather strokes of oil glaze stand like plumage on this exquisite Art-Deco era vase by Kanae Shokoku I enclosed in the original signed wooden box dating from the early 20th century. It is 45 cm (17-1/2 inches) tall 25 cm (10 inches) diameter and in excellent condition. The first Shokoku (1899-1965) was born on Awaji Island in the pristine inland sea and was apprenticed to Kiyomizu Rokubei V at the age of ten. His work was selected for exhibition with the Teiten National Exhibition consistently through the pre-war years, and he was one of the first potters to be named a bearer of important cultural properties (Gijutsu Hozon Sakka) in 1941. His son, Tetsuo (1927-1997), took the reins upon is death and the family is currently headed by Kanae Shokoku III (Michiaki, b. 1948).
All Items : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Porcelain : Pre 1960 item #1416296 (stock #TCR7078)
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Ancient script filled with primitive markings decorates this unusual vase signed Tosen enclosed in the original wooden box dated 1959. This is one which perfectly espouses the artistic trends of the post-war era. It is 12 inches (30 cm) tall and in excellent condition.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Lacquer : Pre 1920 item #1416264 (stock #MOR7076)
The Kura
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Autumn flowers and dried grasses in red, silver and gold rise up before clouds of golden mist on the highly polished Ro-iro surface of this poem card (Tanzaku) container. Inside, golden suzumushi crickets in striking detail sing a lonely autumnal lullaby. The artist has used a variety of techniques, with Hira-maki-e, Taka-maki-e, Nashiji, Kirigane applied gold leaf squares and if you look carefully you can see iridescent blue mother of pearl buds glinting among the leaves. It is 38.5 x 8.5 x 4.5 cm (15 x 3-1/2 x 2 inches) and is in excellent condition and of the highest quality.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1920 item #1416143 (stock #TCR7074)
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An odd shaped koro representing rolling hills and snow laden trees surrounding a small shrine forming the center (and chimney) of the Incense burners lid. It is decorated in traditional brilliant Ninsei colors of green and yellows with iron glaze bones and gold highlights, and is signed Ninsei on the base, stamped Makuzu within the footring. The Koro is 6 inches (15 cm) diameter, 6-1/2 inches (17 cm) tall and in excellent condition. It comes in the original age darkened signed wooden box cut from cross grain Momi (fir).
The name Kozan was granted by Prince Yasui-no-Miya in 1851 in honor of the tea ware produced during the later Edo for the imperial Court by the tenth generation head of the Kyoto pottery family Miyagawa Chozo. The Kozan (Makuzu) kiln as we know it today was established in Yokohama in 1871 by the 11th generation head of the family where he reinvented the family business. He immediately set out on a journey which would propel the Kozan name to International Celebrity status, and send his wares throughout the globe. Pieces produced there were marked Kozan, or Makuzu, the official kiln name, or both. Although he had been running the daily operation since the late 19th century, the first son, Hanzan, succeeded as head of the kiln, in 1912, with the father officially retiring to spend more time on his own research and art. Kozan I dies in 1916. The kiln was run by Hanzan through the early Showa era, he officially taking the name Kozan II in 1917, after one year mourning for his fathers passing. Under Hanzan the kiln was commissioned for works to be presented to the Prince of Wales, the 25th wedding anniversary gift for the Taisho emperor and the Showa Emperors coronation gift. The kiln was completely destroyed in the bombing of Yokohama in 1945. For more on this illustrious family see Bridging East and West, Japanese Ceramics from the Kozan Studio by Kathleen Emerson-Dell.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Lacquer : Pre 1920 item #1416033 (stock #MOR7072)
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A decidedly different version of this theme, a Festive carved wooden Tai (Red Snapper) fish with removable side for sashimi coated inside in gold with bone teeth and inlayed bone eyes. The craftsman ahs gone to great lengths to make this as realistic as possible, from the textures of the skin to the folds in the fins and coloring. Unusually, most dishes in this vein are one sided, however this is equally realistically carved on both sides. It is 47 x 21 x 6 cm (18-1/2 x 8 x 2-1/2 inches and is in overall excellent, antique condition.
It may seem strange, but the red snapper is a representative good luck "charm." There are two reasons. One, the pronunciation of red snapper (Tai) is the same as the end of the word for "fortunate" or "worthy of celebration" (Medetai), and two, the red snapper is known for living a much longer life than other fish and is seen as a symbol of long life. In fact, the deity Ebisu-sama is most often depicted holding a red snapper under one arm.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Porcelain : Pre 1920 item #1415912 (stock #TCR7070)
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A very rare work by Suda Seika featuring a long armed monkey climbing over the rim in raw terracotta clay, contrasting brilliantly against the blue splashed white porcelain. It is 17.5 x 20 x 10.5 cm (7 x 8 x 4 inches) and comes enclosed in a period kiri-wood box. The first generation Suda Seika (1862-1927) was born the son of a merchant in Kanazawa, then part of the Kaga fief. He graduated the Ishikawa prefectural Industrial Ceramic Research Center in 1880 specializing in decoration, and moved to Kyoto the same year. In 1883 he entered the Kutani Ceramics Company, and was elevated to head of decoration two years later. In 1891, he established the Nishiki kiln in Yamashiro Onsen (Hotsprings) of Kaga city, and in 1906 opened a second climbing kiln which bore the name Seika. In 1915 he served as a mentor to the young upstart who would later become known as Kitaoji Rosanjin (1883-1959). The second generation took the reins in the mid 1920s, passing them onto the third generation around 1970.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Devotional Objects : Pre 1700 item #1415417 (stock #MOR7055)
The Kura
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A set of early wood panels, once doors on a votive shrine, painted with guardian shishi lions (Also called Fu-dogs) in polychrome colors, much worn with time. The doors are of clear grained hinoki (Japanese cypress) and have shrunk horizontally over the centuries, evidenced by the ari (wooden support) which is inset into them. On back one can see clearly the silhouette of the original metal-work. Momoyama to early Edo period, they are 37.5 x 47 cm (15 x 18-1/2 inches) each and would be fabulous framed as a set or individually.
All Items : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Okimono : Pre 1980 item #1415275 (stock #MOR7053)
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A serene image of the Goddess of Mercy Kannon found in a natural black stone from the Seta River inset into a hand carved hard-wood base and enclosed in a kiri-wood collectors box titled simply Setagawa-ishi (Seta River Stone). 19.5 cm (7-3/4 inches) tall and in excellent condition.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1920 item #1414859 (stock #TCR7047)
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Cranes soar before the red orb of the sun over festive young pines on these five ceramic bowls covered outside in red and black lacquer from the Nagoya studio of Toyoraku (also Horaku) dating from the mid to later 19th century, late Edo to Meiji eras. This set is exceptional! It is enclosed in a fine compartmentalized collectors kiri-wood box titled Owari Toyoraku Yaki Nuri Asahi-Tsuru-Matsu Suimono Chawan Go Kyaku (Five Owari Toyoraku Pottery Lacquered Soup Bowls Decorated with Pines, Cranes and Rising Sun). The red circle created by the lid is the rising sun, the golden crane sailing before it, and on the black bowl are young pines, symbolizing strength fortune.
The Toyoraku tradition began in the mid 1700s, however it was the fourth generation head of the household (Toyosuke IV 1813~1858) who moved the kiln to Kamimaezu in Nagoya and began applying lacquer and Maki-e to the works. He was succeeded by his son, Toyosuke V (d. 1885) who passed the kiln to his own son Toyosuke VI, (d. 1917), who was highly lauded in his lifetime and made pottery on order of the Meiji emperor, his pieces being selected for international exhibition. However from the later Meiji he concentrated on Raku-ware, and the lacquer tradition mostly disappeared from the family ouvre.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Paintings : Pre 1800 item #1414624 (stock #AOR7041)
The Kura
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A pair of small gold doors depicting Asian Civets (Jakoneko) in a flower strewn garden dating from the early to mid Edo period (17th to 18th century) reminiscent of the famous pair of screens heralding the same image by Kano Yukinobu (Utanosuke, active Muromachi period). The handmade bronze handles are in the shape of hollyhock leaves, intimating connection to the Tokugawa clan, head of the Shogunate. The painted panels are 45 x 28 cm each (17-1/2 x 11 inches), the doors roughly 48.5 x 32 cm (19 x 12-1/2 inches) and are in remarkably good condition considering age. There is some soot built up on the gold surface as might be expected of a painting exposed to wood heat and cooking for two centuries.
All Items : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Porcelain : Pre 1930 item #1414623 (stock #TCR7040)
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Golden bamboo spreads its leaf laden branches about the rim of this aka-e Kinsai bowl by Kyoto potter Takahashi Seizan and decorated by the famous painter Hashimoto Kansetsu enclosed in the original signed wooden box. It is 6-1/2 inches (17 cm) square and in excellent condition. This is from the personal collection of painter Konoshima Keika (1892-1974). We will be offering more from his household in the near future.
Born into the family of literatus and painter Hashimoto Kaikan in Hyogo, in the heart of central Japan, Hashimoto Kansetsu (1883-1945) was a sinophile and manic painter trained initially by his own eye and studies of Chinese classics, then under Takeuchi Seiho (1864-1942). Very opinionated (like his teacher) on the future of Japanese painting, he eventually left Seiho’s Chikujokai school and set out to establish his own painting style which came to be called Shin-Nanga (the New Southern School). He traveled in Europe and extensively in China, and many of his scenes are inspired by that country. His former residence, which he designed entirely himself, is now a museum. Works by this artist are in so many important collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art New York, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MOMAT (Tokyo National Museum of Modern Art), Adachi Museum, Kyoto National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art, and the Imperial Household collection among many others.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1900 item #1414484 (stock #TCR7033)
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A fabulous large Mingei Tokkuri from the Satsuma region in the shape of an eggplant, glazed in black with crystalline blue about the neck over iron rich glazed clay. Likely from the Hirasa kilns, one of the great Satsuma production centers on the southern Island of Kyushu, 18th to early 19th century. It is 24 cm (10 inches) tall and in overall excellent condition, enclosed in a kiri-wood collectors’ box.
The history of Satsuma ware goes back to the 16th century when Japan fought in the Imjin War, ( also known as the Porcelain War), in which Yoshihiro Shimazu, Lord of the Satsuma domain, brought back eighty Korean potters, giving birth to a new ceramic tradition on Japanese soil. There are four main historical lines of Satsuma ware: Tateno, Ryumonji, Naeshirogawa, Hirasa. They are roughly separated into white wares, black wares and porcelains. Kuro Satsuma (black ware) is made by using combinations of black or brown colored glaze. The body itself is dark brown since the clay contains iron from the local soil enriched by the volcanic ash of Sakurajima.