Potter: Kawai Takéichi, Buichi
Approximate size: W5″ by H3.9″ or 12.7 by 9.9cm
Addendum April 2021: The glaze might accurately be described as celadon where the true color is very difficult to accurately portray in photos. The blue color looks slightly darker where the glaze has settled, such as around the foot-ring. Please contact me for additional photos in different lighting conditions.
Made by Kawai Takéichi, nicknamed Buichi who was a nephew of the legendary Mingei giant Kanjirõ Kawai and initiator of the Mingei movement. He apprenticed himself to his uncle and collaborations between the two lasted for over 40 years. This bowl is titled mentori-chawan, mentori meaning the technique of shaping through slicing or cutting while the material is still pliable.
Buichi was a leading disciple and nephew of the celebrated Kawai Kanjiro (1890–1966), Japan’s most famous potter of the 20th century. He began his training as a potter under his uncle in 1928 in Kyoto. During the 2nd WW he was drafted and served with the army in North China for one year in 1942. In 1949 he joined the National Painter’s Association. In 1953 he started his own ceramics studio and has since then participated in many exhibitions both in Japan and abroad. His works are stylistically close to those of his famous uncle and like him he does not sign his pieces. Buichi is also well-known as a painter.
Works from the later period of Kawai Takéichi’s career were wood-fired in a four-chambered noborigama climbing kiln which he established with his son in 1978 in a rural area of Kaméoka city, Kyoto Prefecture.
1908 Born in Yasugi, Shimané Prefecture
1926 Begins apprenticing under Kawai Kanjirō (uncle) in Kyoto
1935 Serves as assistant to Bernard Leach at Kawai Kiln, Gojōzaka, Kyoto
1942 Studies ceramic making in China for one year
1949 Joins the National Creative Painting Association
1953 Becomes an independent artist
1964 Kanjirō-Hirotsugu-Takéichi Trio Exhibition, Kyoto. Visits Australia and New Zealand. Holds private exhibition and pottery classes in Wellington.
1978 Holds 50th year memorial exhibitions at Takashimaya Galleries in Tokyo, Osaka & Kyoto
1989 Dies at the age of 82
As is tradition in Mingei-yaki the objects largely remain unsigned and Takéichi followed in the ways of his uncle. This is one of the more exquisite bowls in his repertoire. Works by this artist are around but you mainly find vases while chawan seem to be rare.
The chawan has no chips or cracks and is in excellent condition. Comes with the high quality tomobako, storage box of which Takéichi signed the inside of the lid. A very rare and unique chawan by Takéichi, Buichi Kawai. I have never seen any work like this before or since.