Potter: Hitoshi Taniguchi, 5th Generation
Approximate size: W4.8″ by H2.9″ or 12.3 by 12.0 by 7.4cm
I’m listing this piece because Sansuke ware does not appear to be very well known. Having this tea bowl in my possession for nearly 10 years it is still one of my favorite pieces.
This chawan was created by Hitoshi Taniguchi, who is a fifth generation master creating Sansuke yaki. Relatively low in height and with an average circumference this object emits an atmosphere that is hard to describe. It reminds me of the humble atmosphere emitted by Korean Ido chawan, yet in form and glazing its absolutely different from those. This chawan has a refined appearance and humble atmosphere that will last forever. An unassuming vessel that radiates modesty and humility yet fit for a king.
Sansuke yaki kiln越中三助焼窯元
The kiln in located in Tonami City, which is known as a city of tulips and dispersed settlements. The origin of the kiln goes back about 150 years and is still working today. The potters make use of locally sourced clay and glazes are made using oils from local vegetation for all their pottery. The pale but deep green glaze, made with generations of tradition and experience, is a unique one.
It reminds me the idea of how the holy grail is supposed to be a simple cup and not a chalice adorned with rubies, sapphires or other valuable metals. It was it’s simple appearance that brought me closer to Sansuke pottery. Sansuke ware has been made in Toyama prefecture for roughly 150 years now, however information about it is surprisingly sparse.
Tulips in Tonami
There are numerous flower festivals in Japan, but when it comes to tulips, it is hard to beat the No. 1 producer in the country and a city that has been cultivating the bulb since the early 20th century. Plus, Tonami is in Toyoma prefecture, where the tulip is the official flower!
The chawan is in excellent condition. Stored in the original paulownia tomobako with kiln stamp and calligraphy on the lid.