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Enigmatic figures rise from concave discs on the front of this massive Tenmoku Vase by modern sculptural artist Ohi Toshiro enclosed in the original signed wooden box. The gourd shaped form is covered in a mottled red Kaki-yu spotted with flashes of black. The smooth evenly graduated sides contrast with the sharp rough edge of the opening, both surprising and pleasing. Signed clearly on the base, the vase is 14 inches (36 cm) tall, 9-1/2 inches (24 cm) diameter and in perfect condition. Toshiro was born in 1927, the first son of Ohi Chozaemon IX. He graduated the Tokyo University of Arts in 1949, and then returned for a short time to the family kiln. He has since been professor at a number of prestigious Japanese institutions. He has been a consistent exhibitor with the Nitten National Exhibition, and served as both judge and director there, as well as acting as judge for the Asahi Ceramics Exhibition. He was awarded the Japan Ceramics Society award in 1957. He was also granted the Art Academy Award of Japan, perhaps one of the most prestigious of all honors in this country in 1985. He has been actively exhibiting abroad since 1949, including North America, The former Soviet Union, most of Europe as well as in the Middle East. In 1983 a tea bowl made by Toshiro was given as a gift to the Emperor and it, as well as several subsequent pieces, are in the permanent collection of the Imperial Household Agency). He accepted the name of Ohi Chozaemon X in 1987. Since his reputation has only grown greater. There is a derth of information available on this artist.