A rare Japanese vintage pottery vase by the very historically famous Okada Gyouzan. The ギョ斬 reads Made by Gyozan also spelled Gyouzan in English. Gyozan and his studios are very famous and well known mostly for their work with Satsuma. This is a rare find as we first thought as it is hand signed. Because of its history and mark, it is highly possible by Gyozan himself. The pottery and design of the vase is most similar to old style Satsuma where Gyozan and his studios did most of their work. It is a gorgeous handmade vase with very detailed hand painting in very fine over glaze enamels of boldly colored flowers on a vase made in the fine old method of tea dust glaze. As I was just recently told by a very nice person helping and I tend to agree as I have never seen another similar, this tea dust glaze is a rare thing to come across these days. Per this most knowledgeable and kind person, dating is early Showa period or the 1920s. A 'Made in Japan' stamp is attached to the bottom, instead of a more permanent method like an inscription. This was used because it was exported after 1921. We purchased it from a gentleman of Japanese heritage who lives in Oregon and before I understood the history of the vase; purchased it just for its uniqueness and beauty. I then learned 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 was hence in storage since 1941, until a few years ago. It is in most excellent antique condition. Just unpacked and took new pictures. The tea dust glaze of the flowers is not worn where it is lighter in spots- that is the way it was made. It is more noticeable on the lighter colors. So very fine. -The most updated information above is now corrected back to what we originally had with Gyozan being the artist, and the fact that it is hand signed even more suspect of its originality. As per this very knowledgeable and well known author who was so kind to email me and tell me to fix the maker, the glaze called tea glaze, and according to Sandra is also a very rare one. Tickled pink to get that email and the time she took out of her day to share. See more on the subject Satsuma on Gotheborg site, or a good book on Satsuma recommended are those by Sandra Andacht.
SIZE: Height 4.5 inches or 11.43 cm, Diameter Widest 6 inches or 15.24cm, Base 3.5 inches or 8.89 cm, Mouth 3 inches or 7.62 cm
Thanks to some wonderful people who read the Japanese language including Yoshio Kusaba san, the current day site of the Gyouzan kilns in Japan is found to share. Following is the history from the 8th generation President, and I have added the link to this page which 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 Corporation
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.
The above was Written by the current President, 8th Generation Yoshiaki Okada
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