The Kura - Japanese Art Treasures
Karatsu Mizusashi by Japanese Potter Nishioka Koju

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Directory: Archives: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Pre 1980: item # 638131

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Karatsu Mizusashi by Japanese Potter Nishioka Koju
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A chosen Karatsu Mizusashi by Nishioka Koju (1918-2006) enclosed in the original signed wooden box. The misshapen form exudes the idea of musakui no sakui, the intention of no intention, so important to the Japanese ideal. This piece shows raw earth scorched shiny red, covered in thin black with trailing color falling from the rim. On the elongated side is a filed off kutsuki from where something stuck to the side in the kiln during firing. The lid is custom made wood lacquered black perfectly fitting the unusual shape. The Mizusashi is 5 inches (13 cm) tall, 7 inches (18 cm) across at the widest. Koju was born in Saga prefecture, and after participating in kiln research began working in Karatsu style ceramics around 1950 in a kiln he built that was named by Koyama Fujio. To this kiln came Fujiwara Kei and Arakawa Toyozo, the latter from whom he received the name Koju. He always avoided the world of large scale exhibitions in favor of small personal spaces, always preferring the private exhibition. Despite this, his reputation was impeccable and he was rated as one of the most influential people in Japanese ceramics by Honoho Magazine. His work is contained in the Polk museum, the Cleveland Museum as well as many other important collections. He is one of the most highly valued of the Karatsu artists, and his passing last year will leave a hole hard to fill in the Japanese ceramic world.

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