Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Illustrated is a phenomenal Bizen chawan by legendary chadogu specialist, Kaneshige Sozan (1909-1995). This bowl is a perfect chawan; beautiful landscape, simple utilitarian lip, definitive front and back, fine mikomi and perfect Bizen kodai, in essence, it rarely gets better than this. Kaneshige Sozan was the younger brother of Ningen Kokuho, Kaneshige Toyo and spent a great deal of his life as a pottery nomad, maybe even as an eccentric, wandering from kiln to kiln and working with various other pottery masters including Ishiguro Munemaro. Sozan's works were eclectic and it wasn't until later in life that his genius at traditional Bizen pottery became apparent. Many ceramic scholars and critics consider the chadogu of Kaneshige Sozan to be among the best made of the 20th century and by looking at this chawan with its magnificent cascading ash, it is easy to see why. Though he could have been seen in the shadow of his older brother, it is exceedingly obvious, that Kaneshige Sozan cast his own shadow over the pottery and potters of Bizen.

"All things excellent are as difficult as they are rare."  Benedict Spinoza (1632-1677)

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