Potter: Yukiyasu Mizutani
Approximate size: W5.1″ by H3.1″ or 13.0 by 8.0 cm
This is a Banko ware chawan by one of Mie Prefecture’s well known potters Yukiyasu Mizutani (1954-). He was born in Yokkaichi City into family of Banko potters. This chawan bears an auspicious resemblance to the work of star potter Zenko Yasuda. To my knowledge however, there is no connection between the two, nor did they share the same teacher. It is therefore unusual to have find so many similarities between the two. From the glaze to the texture of the clay, if it weren’t for the different stamps one might, at first glance presume one artist were responsible. Yukiyasu Mizutani has been a regular at the great Nitten exhibition, participating more than 28 times. He frequently functions as judge and jury for a number of exhibitions, namely the Japan Contemporary Arts and Crafts Exhibition, the Mie Prefecture Exhibition and the Prefecture’s Citizen Exhibition. He was awarded Yokkaichi City’s Cultural Merit Award and is a longtime member of the Society of Contemporary Arts.
About 260 years ago, in the middle of the Edo era, there lived a wealthy merchant by the name of Nunami Rozan – who is said to have had a deep knowledge of the Tea ceremony and an interest in the art of ceramics who started to make own utensils and ceramics. With a desire to let his creations be handed down and used eternally, his ceramics were stamped with the words “Banko Fueki”, meaning “constant eternity,” and from that the name Banko ware was born. The craft of these “Banko ware” ceased with the passing away of Rozan however, during the later stages of the Edo period, the fine crafting of banko ware was rekindled. Despite the popularity of Banko ware, it wasn’t until well after Nunami Rozan his death that the art form was revived and reached greater heights than ever before.
Banko ware typically features unglazed clay with a focus on kyusu or tea pots similar to Tokoname ware. The craft has proven ideal for tea utensils due to their simplicity with excellent tried and true designs. They are light, due to technique where clay is rolled thinly and then stretched out over wood, creating a sturdy and light material.
These days Banko ware kyusu (teapots), yunomi (tea cups), guinomi (saké cups), and tokkuri (serving bottles), hanaire (flower vases), plates and ornamental ware are in great demand from those with an eye for pottery, made all the rarer as there are just 22 government recognized Banko Master Craftsmen amongst the 1,300 potters working to preserve their art.
The chawan has no chips or cracks and is in excellent condition. Comes with tomonuno (tea cloth), and original high quality shiho-san tomobako, box and a large tomonunu, tea cloth.
Thank you very much!
Made by Yukiyasu