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A dark charred Chosen Karatsu kamahen Mimitsuku Mizusashi by Nishioka Koju (b. 1918) enclosed in the original signed wooden box. All is deeply coated in thick burnt ash. Red shows through rivulets of dark olive burnt to the side of the body. The raw clay is visible through the thick ash drips on one side. It has a custom black lacquered wooden lid and is in fine condition but for the handle on the lid, which was broken and repaired. It is 6 inches (15.5 cm) tall, 7 inches (17.5 cm) diameter and in perfect condition. 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 recent passing will leave a hole hard to fill in the Japanese ceramic world.