Monday, September 12, 2011


Illustrated is a close-up of a kakejiku by legendary potter, Arakawa Toyozo. The scroll depicts a Shino chawan with underglaze iron pigment decoration of a field or village. The prominent kanji on the scroll can read “field” or “village”. This scroll painting in monochrome ink tones is typical of a number of pieces Arakawa painted during his lifetime. Most of this style of painting illustrates historical chawan or other pottery pieces or pots that he made himself. Though this design most likely owes it origin to the Muramachi period (1333-1573) and the monochrome ink painters, Shubun and Sesshu, I am inclined to think this painting is of his own pottery and may have accompanied the chawan it depicts. In fact, this decoration is very much like the sugarcane motif of Hamada Shoji, it appears on a large number of Arakawa’s Shino chawan. I have always admired Arakawa’s paintings and calligraphy in this style, there is a wonderful blend of the lyrical and casual, much the same can be said for much of his pottery as well.

For another look at Arakawa as painter, please take a look at a previous, similar post;