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The sides are scorched from flame on this large, flattened ball form tsubo by Koie Ryoji enclosed in the original signed wooden box. The raw Shigaraki earth is scored with strikes from a paddle and deep gouges from the artist fingers. The Tsubo is roughly 8 inches (20.5 cm) tall, the same diameter. Born in Tokoname, 1938, Ryoji graduated the Tokoname industrial school and moved on to work at the City Ceramic Research Facility. In 1966 he established his own studio. Largely displayed and prized, he was most recently awarded the Japan Ceramic Society Gold Award in 2009, the most prestigious of pottery prizes in Japan.