Potter: Kitamura Takashi (1946-)
Approximate size: W2.4″ by H0.9″ or 6.1 by 2.2 cm
This cute kogo or incense container was by the famous Kutani artist Kitamura Takashi (1946-). Kitamura Takashi works in all the styles Kutani ware is known for. Here white and blue are inlaid in the form of birds and waves on the lid. This motif was also the subject of several famous works by ukiyo-e master Hokusai.
Kutani ware is a style of Japanese porcelain traditionally supposed to be from Kutani, currently a part of Kaga province which is a part of Ishikawa prefecture located on Honshu island. It is divided into two phases: ko-Kutani or old Kutani), from the 17th and early 18th centuries and Saikō-Kutani from the revived production in the 19th century. The more prestigious Ko-Kutani wares are recognized by scholars to be a complex and much misrepresented group, very often not from Kutani at all.
Kitamura Takashi was born in Komatsu which lies in Ishikawa prefecture. He became determined to go into potting and while still young he apprenticed himself to master potter Asakura Isokichi. Eventually this lead him to go independent with great success, being was selected for the Japan Fine Arts Exhibition and the Modern Fine Arts of Japan exhibition. He’s a member of the Fine Art Association of Japan and is active in multiple fields aside from modern Kutani pottery, such as the production of ko-Kutani and painting in Kosho Shimizu’s style.
Kutani ware, especially in the ko-Kutani period, is marked by vivid dark colours that epitomize lavish aesthetics. It is theorized but unproven; that the long, harsh and grey winters of the Hokuriku region led to a desire among people living there for ceramic ware to show strong and bold uplifting colours. The classical five colours style is known as gosai-de (五彩手), which includes green, blue, yellow, purple and red. The designs are bold and normally depict landscapes, the beauty of nature, people and cover most of the surface of each piece.
Kutani ware is a traditional handcrafts designated by the Ministry of Economics, Trade & Industry and with a history of over 360 years it is one of the famous porcelains representing Japan!
This kogo bears the potters mark on the bottom and is in mint condition without chips or cracks. Comes with the original quality paulownia tomobako or storage box with kiln stamp, the potter’s seal and calligraphy on either side of the lid.
€150 + shipping cost
Kutani production was located around Arita, the wares are now sometimes grouped with Imari ware (thrown in as correct or incorrect “ko-Kutani type”), or the wider groupings of Arita ware or Hizen ware.