Suzuki Tomio Shino Yōhen-kin Yunomi

Potter: Suzuki Tomio

Approximate size: please inquire

This golden piece was made by the famous potter Suzuki Tomio, one of the greatest Shino artists of our time. It took nearly a decade of experimentation and refinement to create this lustrous, golden glaze while strictly adhering to traditional Shino techniques. The results of Suzuki’s efforts are now proudly on display here in this exquisite yōhen-kin yunomi. It is sure to become a closely guarded treasure, as it has been mine. The work is unique in Shino ware. The following story of Hideyoshi’s opulent tea room was the source of inspiration behind Suzuki Tomio’s yōhen-kin Shino glaze.

At the height of his power, warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1536-1598) ordered the construction of a golden tea ceremony room at Osaka Castle.  It would become a testament to his vast wealth and influence and, against the sensibilities of his appointed tea master, Sen no Rikyū, was used for political and military discussions.  Honored guests were served tea from a glittering bowl coated with pure gold.

Pottery has been produced in the Mino area of Gifu prefecture since the Kamakura period (the end of the 12th century). The main names synonymous with Mino are Oribe, Shino and ki-Seto. It is said that Shino was the first ware to decorate its pieces with brush-drawn designs as shown on this example. Before the use of brush-drawn decorations potters had been carving, incising or were appliquéing their ideas and fantasies.

Shino is also known for its milky white glaze and paired characteristic of small pinholes called suana (nest holes), that appear in the glaze. Tea masters favored naturally arriving details or happy chance accidents emanating from the creation process, no doubt being influenced by perceptions of life and nature in the Shinto religion. Shinto as a religion is also known as kami-no-michi and practitioners of it often regard it as Japan’s indigenous religion and as a nature religion.

Suzuki Tomio was born in 1948 in Yawata, Kyoto and has spent his life in the perfection of Shino glazing. He did not move for independence until establishing his own kiln at the age of 40. One of his most notable advances in Shino glazing is the development of Yohen-kin or transformed gold Shino. First introduced in 2003, this type of Shino is an opulent, golden glaze and has come to serve as the predecessor for a number of lustrous glazes in the artist’s growing body of Shino work. Suzuki Tomio has held expositions at major venues in Japan and has been the recipient of several awards. He is also featured in books which recognize contemporary Japanese ceramists.

In 2011, his work was acquired by the Philadelphia Museum of Art for display in their East Asian Art collection and in 2012 by the University of Durham’s Oriental Museum in the United Kingdom. He holds regular exhibitions across Japan at major department store galleries, including Takashimaya, Hanshin, and Mitsukoshi.

The yunomi, sealed by the potter has no chips or cracks, is unused and in mint condition. Comes with the original high quality shiho-san paulownia tomobako with kiln stamp and calligraphy on the side and inside of the lid plus a dedicated tomonuno or tea cloth.


Thank you very much!