Seiho Tokoname Ushirode Chadei Kyusu

Tsuzuki Seiho

Potter: Tsuzuki Seiho, Daikouji Kiln

Approximate size: W5.5″ by H3.1″ or 14.0 by 8.0 cm

This is a rare and very nice Tokoname chadei kyusu made by the famous Tokoname potter Seiho, who’s real name is Tsuzuki Seiho. This is a unique teapot by this artist with a back-handle. In general back handles, or ushirode which are the norm in the West are less often seen in Japan. In Japan the majority of tea pots have a handle of sorts attached to the side of the body. Appropriate for one who is attached to their western or perhaps ‘British’ style handle. Seiho made this pot as a one-off, it is unique so there is no other exactly like it. The texture, shape and clays are special and this doesn’t feel like just the average mass production piece and the colour of the lid contrasts beautifully with the rich Tokoname clay. The body has a very fine Ishime texture or stone surface pattern, which is a frequently seen texture in various kind of arts in Japan.

Pottery made in Tokoname dates back to the 12th century. During the Heian period, what is now called Tokoname ware was already part of daily life. A kiln known as the Takasaka kiln was built in the 14th century. Towards the end of the Edo period in the late 19th century, Koie Hokyu completed a chambered “climbing kiln” (nobori-gama). The excellent reputation of modern Tokoname ware was established by his son Koie Hoju. He laid the foundations for earthenware pipe making and introduced the red ware for which the town became renowned. A statue was later put up in his honour in the town.

This pot has a very fine ceramic mesh infusor to stop leaves from clogging the spout or exiting the pot

1944 Born in Tokoname-Shi
1964 Established his own pottery studio
Selected 3 times for “Competition for pottery design” 
Selected 4 times for “Exhibition for Japan Traditional Art Crafts”
Selected 5 times for “Choza-Sho Pottery exhibition”, held every 2 years for all potters in Japan
Won “First Prize” at “Local pottery promotional exhibition”
Won a prize 4 times at “Choza-Sho which is held yearly for Tokoname potters
Selected 4 times for “Exhibition for Tokai traditional art crafts”
Won “Category Prize” at “Japan youth traditional art crafts exhibition”
Awarded title “Excellence of craftsman for Traditional craft” by the prefecture’s governor
Awarded title as “Person of Cultural Merit” for his traditional craft by the prefecture’s governor

And a teapot of his making was presented to the Grand Shrine of Ise in Mie Prefecture

One of Seiho’s trademark blossoms on the inside of the lid is a delightful touch

Seto, Echizen, Tokoname, Shigaraki, Tamba, and Bizen are referred to as the Six Ancient Kilns of Japan. The development of these kilns and pottery techniques, some dating to the prehistoric Jomon period, have been preserved and represent an important contribution to the world of ceramics. In these towns, evocative remnants of large and small kilns still dot the hills surrounding the towns, while maze-like backstreets, artfully decorated with walls of ceramic shards and kiln tools, lead to numerous ceramic studios. Walking through the narrow alleyways, led on by the smoke rising from brick-walled chimneys is to rediscover the elegant simplicity of Japanese aesthetics and feel the traditions and history of these ancient kilns.

This kyusu is unused and in mint condition, no chips or cracks. The tea pot bears Seiho’s stamp below the handle. Comes with a paper storage box.

€330 + shipping cost