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.

Seifu Yohei III Bowl w/ Tanomura Chokunyu Calligraphy


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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Stoneware: Pre 1920: Item # 1457489

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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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Seifu Yohei III with a calligraphic verse by his first painting teacher Tanomura Chokunyu enclosed in the original signed wooden box bearing the seal of the Imperial Art Academy titled Chokunyu Okina Shinpuku-yo Kashi Bachi. The artists stamp is impressed into the clay in the center of the bowl. It is 15 cm diameter. There is a faint hairline extending through the far-right character (cloud) and some color infused into the crackled glaze due to time and usage. A similar bowl is visible on page 89 of the book Sandai Seifu Yohei (Seki Kazuo, 2012) with the same stamp impression in the center. This is likely from the ascension of Chokunyu to priesthood.
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.
Tanomura Chokunyu (1814-1907) was born in Oita (the Oka Feif) and studied initially under Okamoto Baisetsu before moving to paint under the famous literatus Tanomura Chikuden (1777-1835), who adopted him as a son and had a very strong influence on the young artist. Upon Chikudens death he also studied briefly under Oshio Chusai (1792-1837) then finally ventured out on his own upon that teachers passing. He was a strong proponent of the Literati and Sencha movements, and decorated many items for use in that realm. He moved to Kyoto, where he helped found the Kyoto Municipal School of painting and eventually withdrew from the world, becoming an Obaku Zen Monk in 1902.