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Japanese Vintage Hagi yaki Pottery Koro by Award Winning Taiga Yoshika
A Japanese vintage Hagi yaki pottery koro with korako os made by Taiga Yoshika, 1915-1991 . A koro is an incense burner, this one a a lovely and unique and scarce one by Hagi as I understand by a well-known website. This was a purchase from Japan and dates to between the 1970s and 1980s, according to the seller. Karako is the Japanese word for Chinese children usually seen playing around outside, This piece is created much like Sumida, with the attached karako nicely dressed in an unusual cape. He is holding on as if for dear life. The koro is an unusual square- rounded shape sitting on a totally rounded foot matching the top inside of the lid. The lid is made in a round shape with height carved out like a chrysanthemum. The overall koro shaping and 'carving' is quite incredible. Potters mix distinct types of local clay. This earth is white in color and of the quality of the kaolin clay used for making celadon ware. In order to raise its resistance to heat, it is mixed with Daidō earth before use. It is dug up from Mitake in the Fukui Shimo area of Hagi City. Then transparent glaze is used also known as a wood-ash glaze and earth-ash glaze.
The most standard result is a pink-orange color, called Korean clay. Wares are formed on the wheel and decorated with the translucent glaze made of feldspar and ash. There are many things to learn about Hagi-yaki, please see the referenced article at the end of this page, but just the tip of the iceberg and mainly about the history. This was an unusual piece to me as commented by Robert Yellin although of course, I have to learn from him, he is the expert and I am a baby beginner. On one store website that carries other potteries his art was found to be very expensive and the style scarce. The koro is inscribed on the bottom of the koro with the artist mark as well as on the tomobako along with his stamp. A tomabako is a box made especially for an item usually with the description, the kiln and the potters name. It is in very good condition, no cracks or chips other than those that are the natural aging of Hagi- see more in the article in NYT below.
After spending about two hours looking through the websites for and all the potters names for this artist name, and saving the info in a file, I found this potter passed away in 1991 so not to find him discussed in detail on a current kiln's site is not a surprise. He is mentioned on the website Tougei, which is the famous portal for Hagi that contains a wealth of information about Hagi Hagi by area in Japan and other detailed information. Finally, the name of Taiga Yoshika was found listed on a section cover page just third to two National Living Treasures. He was noted to have been awarded the honor of Person of Cultural Merit for Japan, and I am not sure how often that is awarded.
Size: Width 4.1 inches or 10.41 cm, Length 3.1 inches or 7.87 cm, Height 3.7 inches or 9.39 cm. Weight koro 270 g + Box 200 g
HAGI is the pottery of Yamaguchi Prefecture in Japan. It is one of the popular ware which people liked most from ancient times. Hagi Ware is a type of Japanese pottery most identifiable for its humble forms and use of translucent white glaze. It originated in the early 17th century with the introduction of potters brought back from Japanese invasions of Korea. The local daimyo of the time were very interested in the tea ceremony and funded the production of this ware.
Hagi-yaki Raku-yaki is a type of a Japanese traditional pottery. It is mainly formed by hand without the use of potter's wheel. Raku-yaki is very popular with tea masters. In particular tea bowl is a very popular. It is called Raku-chawan. Great Sen no Rikyu was also love it. It is the pottery made in Hagi city whole area, Yamaguchi Prefecture. Its origin is the 17th century. At the time, potters of Hagi learned the technique from the Koreans. Therefore, the old tea bowls of Hagi are a look like to the Joseon Dynasty style. In addition, It is one of the tea bowl that tea masters are most loving.
Potters mix distinct types of local clay. The most standard result is a pink-orange color, called Korean clay. Wares are formed on the wheel and decorated with the translucent glaze made of feldspar and ash. For those pieces with a signature chip located on the bottom is a local tradition from the Edo period when potters would deliberately mark their wares in order to sell them to merchants instead of presenting them as gifts to the Mori clan.
In an article by Robert Yellin at a Hagi Ware exhibition, and as part of his review states: 'Another delightful discovery was the many fine Hagi okimono (decorative items). I had seen one or two in books but I didn't know that the Hagi potters put them out in these numbers'.
'The Where and Ware and Who of Hagi'; By AMANDA MAYER STINCHECUM; Amanda Mayer Stinchecum is a writer and a specialist in Japanese textiles who is based in New York. Published: July 3, 1988
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