Koichi Ohara Hai-yu Tokoname Sake Set: Tokkuri & Guinomi

Potter: Koichi Ohara

Approximate size Tokkuri: W2.5″ by H6.0″ or 6.4 by 15.3 cm

This is a sake set consisting of a tokkuri or sake bottle and 2 guinomi or sake cups made by the potter Koichi Ohara (1974-). Koichi Ohara was born and raised in Tokoname City which is, as you are no doubt aware, one of Japan’s foremost pottery related towns. Most families in Tokoname have been potters for generations and kilns are often hundreds of years old! Koichi was not born in one of the numerous lineages and wasn’t raised alongside pots and jars. This work is unlike most Tokoname ware and carries with it a rustic and natural atmosphere coupled with impressive yohen effects (firing effects). The glaze is of Koichi’s own devising and is further influenced through the wood-firing.

Before the clay is ready for use it undergoes a lengthy process. It is gathered from multiple places, sieved, filtered, mixed, dried and other steps are necessary before it is usable on the wheel or for sculpting. In this case all preparation and steps are executed by the potter himself. In these works Koichi has purposefully kept the clay mixture a little coarse by including small stones.

Koichi Ohara always had a fondness for drawing and designing which lead to him practice printmaking and oil-painting during his time in high school. After graduating he went to study engineering but almost immediately found out he had little to no talent for physics and dropped out in order to study under the Swiss potter and artist Veronica Strasser (who has resided in Japan and studied ceramics for a long time). Veronica Strasser prepares her own clay and glazes and it is from her that Koichi Ohara learned. After completing his apprenticeship and mastered all the core processes of making pottery Ohara set out to visit the main centres of ceramics and porcelain production in Japan, Korea and Thailand. During his travels he picked up a wide variety of techniques and the ins and outs of creating his own glazes.

Ohara loves clay with a passion or perhaps better said; he is obsessed with it. That obsession extends even to the mixing of the clay he uses, which he does by hand.

Just because cover the clay with glaze doesn’t mean that the quality of the pottery under the glaze doesn’t matter. If you haven’t used good clay, the glaze won’t come out correctly. That’s why you have to be incredibly particular about the clay.

Koichi Ohara

This sake set is in mint condition. The tokkuri, saké bottle and guinomi are hand signed on the bottom. Come with the original high quality paulownia tomobako or wooden storage box bearing calligraphy and Koichi Ohara’s seal on the lid.


Thank you very much!