This vintage Bizen -yaki is made by Famous Potter Amakawa Tousyouen b 1934- of Tochigi Prefecture. Bizen Ware is unglazed stoneware usually fired with red pine wood. See more below about Bizen ware from the eyakimono website . A beautiful Bizen ware pail, this design and size is most often used for decoration or a flower vase. Great for a large cut off bunch of daisies, or inside small plant, or display for holding utensils, or just a fine collectors item. The water pail is often subject matter in Japanese arts, symbolizing the the old days when it was used to carry water from the wells on the farms. It is among the rarer of subject matter found now and in the past century. The potter Tousyouen opened his own studio in 1964. He has been involved in many special projects, exhibitions, and received many awards. I do not know the age of this piece, most likely between 30-60 years old based on his history in addition to the color and light lovely patina. It is in excellent condition with no cracks or chips. Most likely, this piece was made sometime after 1956, based on Bizen art and potter's history.
SIZE : Height 8.5" or 21.59 cm ,Diameter 3.5in or 8.89 cm, Weight 600g, 1.32 lbs; Shipping weight 1,200g; or 2.64 lbs
Bizen - History 備前
It is said that Bizen Ware got its start from a change in the process of Sue Ware of the Kofun Era, and was produced in the Heian Era at the foot of Mt. Kuma as daily-use items such as bowls, plates, platters and roof tiles.
In the Kamakura Era, pots, jars and mortars were frequently made from clay which mainly consisted of mountain earth. However, from that time onwards, works with the characteristic reddish-brown surface of Bizen Ware were started to be created. From the end of the Muromachi Era, a clay gathered from the Inbe region called Hiyose came to be used. The making of these items in large kilns would continue up to the end of the Edo Era, but at that time, the production of porcelain goods in places like Kyoto, Arita and Seto started to flourish which would consequently affect Bizen Ware adversely.
The time from the Meiji Era to the beginning of the Showa Era was a difficult one. the man who brought the declining Bizen Ware back to its current prosperity was Toyo Kaneshige. In 1956, Kaneshige was proclaimed as a National Living Treasure or "a Bearer of Important Intangible Cultural Assets".
This was the catalyst for everybody put their efforts together and get themselves out of a very dark period in history. In addition, it was from this time that not just within Japan but even abroad, the popularity of the classically Japanese Bizen Ware increased and so after the passing of Kaneshige, Kei Fujiwara, Toshu Yamamoto, Yu Fujiwara, Jun Isesaki and other National Living Treasures started to turn out in great numbers.
information from Robert Yellin's site eyakimono site
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