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A black lacquered lid covers the opening of this exquisite mizusashi by Tsukigata Nahiko enclosed in a wooden box titled Oni Shino Mizusashi and endorsed by his student Ayukai Kogetsu. It is 7-1/2 inches (19 cm) diameter, 6 inches (15.5 cm) tall and in excellent condition.
Tsukigata Nahiko (1923-2006) was not only an accomplished ceramic artist, but also a painter, calligrapher, sculptor and musician. Born in Niigata prefecture, he was at Waseda University in 1941 when he was summarily drafted into the Army. After the war he attended the Arts course of Nippon Daigaku University and was struck by the works of Living National Treasure Arakawa Toyozo, to whom he apprenticed in the arts of Shino and took his mentors work to a new level. Like all art, his was alive and always evolving. Starting with the replication and research of Momoyama techniques to the culmination of his efforts in Oni-shino, Nahiko has taken Shino beyond all others. It was not an easy road, for the first 15 years he worked for a ballet school, spent time as a recluse priest at Myoanji temple, and wandered the country playing the shakuhachi. It was a time of great change in Japan, starvation was rampant immediately after the war and supporting oneself through the little known art of Shino-yaki was difficult. However he persevered, along with Toyozo, Kato Juuemon, Kato Kohei and others, to bring Shino to the forefront of ceramic arts. Heavily prized domestically and abroad in his lifetime, his low output and unique quality make his work a must have for collectors. Ayukai Kogetsu was a female artist from Miyagi prefecture who became a student and follower of Tsukigata in 1979. She currently takes part in calligraphy and ceramic exhibitions throughout Japan.