Japanese and Chinese antiques and art from B & C
Kutani Vase Living National Treasure Tokuda Yasokichi

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Directory: Archives: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Pre 1980: item # 869468

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B & C   Antiques
P. O. Box 291
Derby, CT 06418

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Kutani Vase Living National Treasure Tokuda Yasokichi

This vibrant Japanese Kutani porcelain vase in ovoid form with elongated neck was created by Living National Treasure Tokuda Yasokichi III (b. 1933). The dark teal blue glaze on the thin neck continues over the top of the shoulder where it trisects through shimmering bands of green and yellow which flow over the rich aubergine (dark purple) glaze that covers the ovoid bottom of the vase. This piece is a marvelous example of Tokuda’s mastery of the “saiyu” technique of color gradation wherein the translucent Kutani glazes blend and overlap in a brilliant display of colors. The pure white porcelain base is signed “Kutani Masahiko” in iron red, and the original kiri wood storage box (“tomobako”) is signed “Kutani” and stamped with the Yasokichi seal.

Yasokichi III is famed for his mastery of Kutani glazes, and the astonishing depth and color he has achieved with this vase are an excellent example of that skill. His works are mostly done in simple forms which do not compete with the spectacular colors and graduated glazes which so thoroughly dominate his ceramic art. Pieces made by this highly sought Japanese artist are consistently displayed at national and international exhibitions, and they are well represented in many museum and private collections as well.

Born Tokuda Masahiko in Komatsu, Japan, he started potting at the age of 18. He studied Kutani glazing with his grandfather, the first Yasokichi (1873-1957) and modern pottery with his father, Yasokichi II (1907-1997). Tokuda graduated from Kanazawa College of Art and won the NHK Chairman's Prize with his first entry in the Japan Traditional Crafts Exhibition in 1971. He won the highest award at the Japan Traditional Crafts Exhibition: the Japan Crafts Association's Chairman's Prize in 1977, the Hokkoku Shimbun Cultural Award in 1985, and the Japan Pottery Association Prize in 1986, when he was also designated an Intangible Cultural Asset of Ishikawa's kutani-yaki pottery. In 1988, he took the potter’s name Yasokichi. He won the Chichibunomiya Cup, the most prestigious prize at the Japan Pottery Exhibition in 1991. He was designated Important Intangible Cultural Asset (Living National Treasure) in 1997.

CONDITION is perfect. Please note that most of the photographs do not adequately show the wonderful depth and nuances of the color, and the white marks on the photos are reflections of lights in the glossy glaze.

DIMENSIONS: 7 ½” (19 cm) high, 4 ½” (11.5 cm) approximate ovoid diameter, 1” (2.5 cm) diameter at neck.

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