Soshu Yamamoto Triangular Bizen Hanaire

Potter: Soshu Yamamoto

Approximate size: W3.5″ by 3.9″ by H8.8″ or 9.0 by 10.0 by 22.5 cm

This vase was made by the female potter Soshu Yamamoto who is the wife of Toshu Yamamoto (who bears the distinction of being a Living National Treasure in Bizen). Together they work from the Bishuu-gama or Bishuu kiln in Bizen. The Bishuugama kiln and workshop were founded in 1974 at the suggestion of the famous Living National Treasure Toshu Yamamoto by his eldest son, Yuichi and his wife. This vase has a triangular shape with faceted walls, was achieved by slicing of clay. A technique known as mentori. It emits a powerful atmosphere. Due to the typical Bizen wood-firing it has a variety of yohen effects. The area near the upper part of the rim has a thick goma or sesame glaze that is especially good. Perfect for an ikebana arrangement or just to display without flowers. A great Bizen piece.

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

Consideration of the vase as being something more than a mere holder of the flowers is purely Japanese. They think of the surface of the water, which they always expose, as the surface of earth from which the group springs. This aids in creating the effect of representing a complete plant growing as nearly as possible in its natural conditions.

Japanese flower arrangement by Mary Averill

Bizen ware is a type of Japanese pottery most identifiable by its iron-like hardness, reddish brown color, absence of glaze and markings resulting from wood-burning kiln firing.

Bizen clay has a high iron content and traditionally a lot of organic matter in it that is unreceptive to glazing. The clay can take many forms while retaining its strength. The surface treatments of Bizen wares are entirely dependent on yohen or kiln effects produced by the firing. Pine ash produces goma, or “sesame seed” glaze and rice straw wrapped around pieces creates red and brown scorch marks called hidasuki. 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.

The vase is signed, has no chips or cracks and is in excellent condition. Comes with the original high quality shiho san paulownia tomobako with kiln stamp and calligraphy on the lid. Also includes two pamphlets with information on the kiln and Soshu & Toshu Yamamoto. An exemplary Bizen piece.


Thank you very much!