Potter: Dōshō Yamazaki
Approximate size: W4.9″ by H3.5″ or 12.5 by 8.8cm
An imposing chawan, ceremonial tea bowl by noted Mino potter Dōshō Yamazaki (1941-). Appearing bold and overwhelming with an intricate glaze. Multiple glazes layered on top of each other, create a dynamic appearance in a characteristic to Shino – set of colors. The bottom has been worked after firing and is smooth to the touch. Shino ware is renowned for its impressive works and chawan in particular have consistently been at the forefront of Tea ceremony history. This chawan speaks for itself and could only have been made by a experienced craftsman.
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.
Dōshō Yamazaki comes from Toyama prefecture and has devoted his life to the clay arts. Graduating from junior high school lead him to apprentice himself to Kato Juemon and continued his studies with him for over a decade! Kato Juemon was a master craftsman in the locality and being designated an Intangible Cultural Asset of Gifu Prefecture was the crowning jewel of his career. This distinction is one of the highest a craftsman in Japan can attain. Dōshō Yamazaki specializes in Shino and works like this one are prized and coveted.
The first Shino ware was developed during the Momoyama period (1568–1600), in kilns in the Mino and Seto areas. The glaze, composed primarily of ground local feldspar and a small amount of local clay, produced a satiny white color. It was the first white glaze used in Japanese ceramics. Wares decorated with Shino were fired in the anagama kilns used at that time. Anagama kilns were single-chambered kilns made from a trench in a hillside that was covered with an earthen roof. As the anagama kilns were replaced by the multi-chambered noborigama kilns during the first decade of the 17th century, Shino was supplanted by the Oribe ware glazes used in the newer kilns. Shino enjoyed a brief revival in the 19th century but then seemingly faded into obscurity.
The chawan is free of chips and cracks and condition is excellent. Signed on the bottom by the maker I guarantee its authenticity. As can be seen in the photos below the area next to the koudai or foot ring has been worked thin and the white glaze lets light through, being somewhat transparent. This is not a defect and the bowl does not leak. Comes accompanied by the original quality paulownia tomobako or storage box with the potter’s seal and calligraphy on the side.
Thank you very much!