Shunji Kato Korean Style Hakeme Chawan

Potter: Shunji Kato 2nd generation

Approximate size: W4.8″ by W5.0″ by H2.8″ or 12.2 by 12.7 by 7.2cm

Here is a fine and delicately balanced tea bowl clearly hinting to and inspired by the ancient Korean Ido chawan which were made by the potters overseas. Made by the 2nd generation master-potter Shunji Kato (1892-1979). He was born to the first generation and studied with his father, inheriting the title of Kato Shunji the second in 1912. Like his father he mainly worked making tea bowls and innovated the use of traditional Seto ware glazes.

It is worth noting that he helped serving the grand master of the Matsuo style tea ceremony which is the most prominent school of tea in the Chubu region of Japan. He made many great works for practitioners and masters of the school.

In 1940, in honor of all those who died during the war he worked with Buddhist potter Shibata Seifu on the Koa Kannon. A famous statue of the Bodhisattva of compassion, located atop Mount Izu in Atami.

Many potters from Korea were later taken during or after invasions back to the Japanese homeland. Shunji Kato Stemmed from Seto City in Aichi prefecture and during his long life he became a truly great potter. He was eventually awarded with the title Intangible Cultural Treasure of Aichi prefecture in 1975.

1892 Born in Seto City
1926 Assumed master’s name of the 2nd Shunji Kato as successor
Later he was working as exclusive craftsman of the Matsuoryu
1940 Built Kannon for the war dead memorial.
1975 He was recognized as intangible cultural heritage as potter Oribe and Old Seto in Aichi prefecture
1979 Passed away

Seto ware is the pottery made in Seto City and nearby areas of modern Aichi prefecture. The Seto area was the center of pottery manufacture in the Kamakura period; ko-Seto (old-Seto), designates pieces made at this time. At the end of the Muromachi period the center of the pottery manufacture moved to nearby Mino. At that time wares made in the area from Seto to Mino were called Seto-yaki.

In the early Edo period, some pottery manufacture moved back to Seto. In 1822, Kato Tamikichi (1722-1824), introduced sometsuke jiki (blue-and-white porcelain; sometsuke), from Arita in modern Saga prefecture, and this porcelain, called shinsei or new production rather than the original Seto ware pottery, Hongyou became standard. The Japanese term Setomono is also used as a generic term for all pottery. Seto was the location of one of the Six Ancient Kilns of Japan.

A traditional Hakame (brushstroke), glaze covers this chawan which form is clearly derived from the earliest Korean form tea bowls we know about. There was a book published about this well known potter entitled: “The Works of Kato Shunji“, in Nagoya. Showa 55 (1980).

The chawan has no chips or cracks and is in excellent condition. Comes with the original signed paulownia tomobako with the kiln stamp and calligraphy. Please try matcha with this first class chawan.

€250+ shipping cost

It is known that around the middle of the Showa era (1926-1989), he used an old Seto kiln called Aoi-gama (Aoi kiln), to make many of his works. During the Tokugawa shogunate, that kiln was exclusively used for the production of wares to be used by the reigning clan of the Tokugawa family.