Hisashi Kawai Mingei Gosu Hanaire

Potter: Hisashi Kawai

Approximate size: W4.3″ by H7.0″ or 11.0 by 18.0cm

For your consideration is an elegant bottle vase by Hisashi Kawai (1942-2016). Shape and form in this piece are typical of the Kawai family work-style and are often seen, this one is relatively large. At first glance the shape appears very similar to the tokkuri or saké bottle by this potter that is also listed however, when comparing the two this piece has a distinctly wider form and a low center of gravity which makes this piece steadfast. This is a vase that won’t topple over easily.

The work featured here has several unmistakable elements which Mingei is known for. The rich cobalt colour known as gosu is a trademark of Kanjirõ and his lineage. Kanjirõ started his career by mastering the use of chemical pigments but later abandoned these methods and pushed forward using only natural compounds and techniques to bring out more vibrant and living colours. This is true for all his students. The bulbous form seen in this work is very was very popular amongst many of the potters following.

Nephew of the legendary mingei giant Kanjirõ Kawai and accompanied him during the initiation of the Mingei movement. Kawai Hisashi started working and learning the craft with Kanjirõ and Takéichi Kawai after graduating high school in 1961. During a 20 year period of learning making the style his own. He went independent in 1981 and three years later opened his own kiln called Sarukoden-gama in Shigacho, Shiga prefecture (relatively close to Kyoto). Since then he has held numerous exhibitions all over Japan.

The aestheticism and wonderful blue glaze are an ode to Kanjirõ’s spirit and craftsmanship

He followed in the footsteps of his near legendary mentor and continued to create vibrantly contemporary pieces using traditional techniques and his own individual sensibility, yet clearly his teachers influence is self apparent. Highly identifiable but without a signed tomobako or attribution from a direct family member it would be difficult to attribute the specific pair of hands with confidence.

In line with Kanjirõ’s taught philosophy of humility and earnestness, there is no artist’s stamp or signature on the bottle itself due to the fact that Kanjirõ shunned this practice—he felt it was an overindulgence of the artist’s ego. Most of his students accepted and adopted the practice.

The vase has no chips or cracks and condition is excellent. Comes with the original quality tomobako, storage box with calligraphy on the inside of the lid. An excellent piece by one of the closest students of Kanjirõ Kawai and a homage to his teacher.


Thank you very much!