Kageaki Kato Shino Chawan

Potter: Kato Kageaki, 12th generation

Approximate size: W5-5.2″ by H3.7″ or 12.7 by 13.2 by 9.5cm

A large Shino chawan by one of the genres greatest 20th century names, the 12th generation Shino master-potter Kato Kageaki (1899-1972). This chawan represents and encompasses all the hallmarks of the Shino tradition; a thick feldspar glaze with crazing and pinholes aplenty. The shape is a relaxed and kutsu, purposefully distorted by hand after coming from the clay-throwing process. This feature is also evident in Oribe, a style emanating later during the Momoyama era in the same area of Japan.

Kageaki (Keishu, 1899-1972), was the 12th generation head of the Kato clan, his ancestor Kagemitsu being the first of the Mino potters, establishing the family kiln in 1574. He was named a Living National Treasure (properly called Mukei Bunkazai or Intangible Cultural Property), in 1958.

Pottery has been produced in the Mino area of Gifu prefecture since the Kamakura period (the end of the 12th century). The main names synonymous with Mino are Oribe, Shino and ki-Seto. It is said that Shino was the first ware to decorate its pieces with brush-drawn designs as shown on this example. Before the use of brush-drawn decorations potters had been carving, incising or were appliquéing their designs and fantasies.

He was often displayed and prized at the National Traditional Arts and Crafts Exhibition (Nihon Dento Kogeiten), and was a member of the Nihon Kogei Kai. His torch was passed to his son Kato Seizo and Mizuno Takuzo among others. The kiln is now headed by his grandson, the 14th generation head of the family Kato Yasukage. His works are in the Imperial Household collection among many other museum collections in Japan.

Fired in the kilns of Kato Kageaki (1899-1972), this Shino bowl represents one of the oldest traditions in Japanese pottery. Kageaki was the 12th generation of Mino potters known for their distinctive styles of Shino and Oribe pottery. He was a great potter in his own right who was designated as a Human Intangible Cultural Treasure by Gifu prefecture and who has won innumerable prizes and received wide recognition for his accomplishments.

This epic chawan has no chips or cracks and is in excellent condition considering its age. Comes in the original paulownia tomobako signed by Kato Kageaki himself. A great piece to display by one of the cornerstones of Shino development of the 20th century.


Thank you very much!

The first shino ware was developed during the Momoyama period (1568–1600), in kilns in the Mino and Seto areas. The glaze, composed primarily of ground local feldspar and a small amount of local clay, produced a satiny white colour. It was the first white glaze used in Japanese ceramics. Wares decorated with Shino were fired in the anagama kilns used at that time. Anagama kilns were single-chambered kilns made from a trench in a hillside that was covered with an earthen roof. As the anagama kilns were replaced by the multi-chambered noborigama kilns during the first decade of the 17th century, shino was supplanted by the Oribe ware glazes used in the newer kilns. Shino enjoyed a brief revival in the 19th century, but then faded into obscurity.