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.

Massive Important Flambe Vase by Kiyomizu Rokubei V


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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Stoneware: Pre 1920: Item # 1452432

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The Kura
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817-2 Kannonji Monzen-cho
Kamigyo-ku Kyoto 602-8385
tel.81-75-201-3497
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An incredible Flambe glazed vase by Kiyomizu Rokubei V on a black-wood stand enclosed in a massive red lacquered storage box heavily inscribed and signed by the artist. I rarely use the term, but this is Museum Quality, or perhaps I should more rightly say this unprecedented piece should be in a Museum! It is 55 cm tall (22 inches), 41 cm (16 inches) diameter. There is a firing flaw in one side (see close-up pictures). Less a box than a cabinet, inside the door is a long inscription which describes the conditions and methods of production of the vase dated 1918.
Kiyomizu Rokubei V (Shimizu Kuritaro, 1875-1959) initially studied painting and decorating technique under Kono Bairei, one of the foremost painters in Japan in the Meiji era. After graduating the Kyoto Municipal Special School of Painting, he took a position under his father at the family kiln however. That same year he exhibited his first work at the National Industrial Exposition. He was a co-founder of Yutoen with his father and Asai Chu, and worked ceaselessly to promote the pottery of Kyoto. He helped to establish the Kyoto Ceramics Research Facility (Kyoto Tojiki Shikensho) at the turn of the century which would be the proving ground for many young artist of the era. Doctor Maezaki Shinya has noted that Teishitsu-Gigei-in (Imperial Art Academy Member) Seifu Yohei III also fired his acclaimed works in the Rokubei kiln in the Taisho era. Due to his father’s poor health Rokubei V took the reins unofficially in 1902, commanding the helm until assuming the name Rokubei V in 1913. It was in 1928 that Rokubei changed the reading of the family name from Shimizu to Kiyomizu and applied it retroactively to previous generations. He exhibited constantly, and garnered a great many awards. He worked to get crafts added to the National Art Exhibition (Bunten/Teiten) and served as a judge in 1927, the first year crafts were allowed. In 1937 he was designated a member of the Imperial Art Council (Teishitsu Bijutsu Inkai). Despite changes in the world around him Rokubei persevered, working in all manner of materials and styles. He retired in 1945, perhaps as exhausted as Japan was with the end of the war, or perhaps seeing that capitulation would signal a new era in need of new leaders and a new aesthetic. He passed the name Rokubei to his son and took the retirement name Rokuwa. Uncontainable he continued to create pottery under that name until his death in 1959. His influence is so pervasive he was voted one of the most important potters of the modern era by Honoho magazine, the preeminent quarterly devoted to Japanese pottery. A multitude of works by him are held in the The National Museums of Modern Art, both in Tokyo and Kyoto, the Kyoto Kyocera Museum, The Kyoto Hakubutsukan Museum and the Philadelphia Art Museum among others.