Representing the culmination of over 1,000 years of Shigaraki potting tradition, this bold guinomi with rough exterior and natural ash glazing was produced by well-known and admired potter Takahashi Rakusai
Born Mitsunosuke, the eldest son of Takahashi Rakusai III, the fourth Rakusai potter succeeded the family name in 1976 with his father’s passing. The Takahashi family on the whole has been one of the most important, influential, and longstanding among Shigaraki potters, playing an important role in preserving this important tradition when it began to die out after WWII. Both Mitsunosuke and his father have received wide recognition domestically—with III being named Shiga Prefecture Intangible Cultural Property in 1964 and IV receiving special recognition as an important traditional craftsman in 1976. Likewise, they have also won recognition abroad, winning awards in Brussels in 1960 and in Los Angeles in 1973.
In very good condition, this piece measure 2.4 inches in diameter (6.1 cm) and stands 1.6 inches tall (4 cm). It comes with a fitted wooden box signed and sealed by Takahashi and an insert in Japanese detailing the kiln and the history of the Rakusai line of potters. The cup itself is signed with the artist’s signature “ら.”