Toko Kaneshige Bizen Yohen Hanaire

Potter: Toko Kaneshige

Approximate size: W 4.5″ by H 10.0″ or 11.5 by 25.4 cm

This is a chic Bizen ware vase by Toko Kaneshige. Toko is the current successor of the illustrious Kaneshige family. The Kaneshige family name is a staple of Bizen ware and their kiln named Rito-en gama is a famous one. The Kaneshige family is one of the oldest in Bizen and having a lineage that goes back over a hundred years, it has been actively involved in its evolution. Showcasing a variety of yohen firing effects this is surely a piece that will liven up your bed, living room or office.

The Kaneshige family is famous in Japan and Bizen in particular. Toyo Kaneshige in particular (1986-1967, born in Inbe Bizen-city). He was the first-born son of Biyo Kaneshige. Kaneshige is one of the six oldest family lines of the Bizen kilns. Toyo studied under his father and became popular as a craftsman of Japanese tea pot. From 1910-1940, he begun to make potteries used in Japanese tea ceremony, and was successful in attempts to make wares of Momoyama period quality.

Toyo Kaneshige (1896-1967), became Bizen’s first Living National Treasure!

Bizen wares are fired slowly over a long period of time. Firings take place only once or twice a year. They require the kiln fire to be kept lit and burning for approximately 10 to 14 days involving long hours and literally tons of wood.

Bizen is one of the six remaining kilns of medieval Japan. Below are the 3 types of kiln used by the Rito-En kiln.

Bizen ware is a type of Japanese pottery most identifiable by its iron-like hardness, reddish brown colour, absence of glaze and markings resulting from wood-burning kiln firing. Bizen clay bodies have a high iron content and, traditionally, much organic matter that is unreceptive to glazing. The clay can take many forms. The surface treatments of Bizen wares are entirely dependent on yohen or kiln effects. Pine ash produces goma, or “sesame seed” glaze spotting and rice straw wrapped around pieces creates red and brown scorch marks. The placement of pieces in a kiln causes them to be fired under different conditions, with a variety of different results.

Considering that one clay body and type of firing is used, the variety of results is remarkable.

Main styles of Bizen pottery

Botamochi 牡丹餅 (rice ball)
round, often red spots created through surface masking, kiln placement and wood firing

Goma 胡麻 (sesame seed)
glaze produced by kiln placement and ashes melting in the heat of the kiln

Hidasuki 緋襷
a rice straw wrapping, containing salt, typically producing bands of red colour

Ao Bizen 青備前
acquires various blue hues due to wrapping with rice straw, kiln placement and reduction during wood firing

Sangiri 桟切り
shiny metallic blue sheen acquired, often randomly through reduction during wood firing

Kuro Bizen 黒備前 (black Bizen)
black colours achieved through use of clay and kiln placement, typically associated with ancient Bizen ware made in Imbe village during the 12th century

This vase, signed by the potter has no chips or cracks and is in mint condition. Comes with the original quality paulownia tomobako or box with kiln stamp and calligraphy on the interior and exterior of the lid.


Thank you very much!