A beautiful antique Japanese Kiyomizu-Satsuma pottery vase by historically famous Gyōzan 暁山 studios, the complete name of the artist is Okada Gyouzan, 岡田暁山. Gyozan/ Gyouzan and his studios are very famous and well known for their work with Kiyomizu (old Kyoto) Satsuma. (See more on the subject "Satsuma" on Wiki or any good books on Satsuma, for example those by Sandra Andacht). It is a handmade, hand painted and a hand signed made of the well known Satsuma cream colored pottery with its lovely crazing. It is painted with great skill with the motif of three egret, one in flight; amongst hanging colorful vines along a subtle stream of water. Dating is at least early 1900's, when Gyouzan studios began heavily exporting to the US. It is hand signed Gyōzan 暁山 on the bottom, underneath the words "Made in Japan"- which was used for exports between the 1920s and 1940s. We purchased this from an estate and gentleman of Japanese heritage who lives in Oregon It came out of storage from the seller's grandfather's antique store owned before 1941. His grandparents were retained in the US during WWII and it has been there in storage since 1941, until a few years ago. It is in very good antique condition (no cracks or chips) perhaps with some surface age wear to the paint on all sides, although it is still bright and raised. The crazing is a totally normal part in the making of Satsuma ware. This is a rare find as as it is hand signed and due to its estate history. It has an old original shop or inventory sticker. Because of its history and mark, it is highly possible by Gyozan himself or an immediate apprentice. There is some previous old writing that has been painted over, and I wish I had the skill to find what it says, and it is possible we may have some resources to help do this. This is a very rare collectable item. Additional pictures available upon request.
SIZE: Height 8" or 20.32 cms, Diameter Widest 6" or 15.24 cms, Mouth 3.5" or 8.89 cms
Thanks to some wonderful people who read the Japanese language, the current day site of the Gyouzan kilns in Japan is found to share. Following is the history on this site written by the 8th generation President, and I have added the link to this page (available in English) to our "Favorites" Links found on our Homepage, so you can enjoy more of their history and lovely potteries:
Gyouzan Kiln (now DBA Okada Ceramics Corp)
Gyouzan kiln has a history as long as that of Kiyomizu Ceramics (Kyo-yaki).
The artists and craftsmen of Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan, have been the arbiters of Japanese taste and the objects they produced set standards aimed at but seldom achieved elsewhere in the land. Kyo-Yaki, the ceramics of the capital, are no exception, distinguished from the many other forms of Japanese pottery and porcelain. Kyo-Yaki is unsurpassed in its aristocratic elegance and lavish decoration. Kyo-Yaki was developed by Ninsei and Kenzan, two great potters. The superb technical skill and pictorial genius of Ninsei and the flamboyant decorative instincts of Kenzan brought Kyo-Yaki to its peak during the 17th century. Both these masters inspired artists into the modern period. Gyouzan kiln has its origins in the 17th century. Around the beginning of the 18th century, Gyouzan kiln was listed by the Emperor’s family as one of the five fine kilns of Kyoto. Around 1890, Choubei(an Okada ancestor) moved to Gojo Higasiyama to set up his kiln and shop .
At the beginning of the 20th century, the Company began to export the reproductions of Ninsei and Kenzan and original Kyo-Satsuma ware under the name of Gyouzan. After that Gyouzan kiln had orders not only from the USA, but also from European countries. After 1950 Kyo-Satsuma became well-known in many foreign countries. Their works range from decorative jars to tea ceremony ware. Nowadays, Okada Ceramics Corp still uses the traditional method of producing beautiful and elegant enameled handmade earthen ware. We hope you will enjoy our traditional Japanese ceramics.
Written by the President , 8th Generation Yoshiaki Okada
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