Recently I come to know Mr.Martin Reynolds.
He is a "Taizan" collector.
He asked me as below.
That pot was made by Taizan Yohei ix and since then I have collected some 200 plus pots and two tea services all made at the Taizan kiln. I have also collected pieces by your ancestor as for some time they had a parnership and some pieces were signed by both.I have also bought some pieces by Kinkozan simply because i loved them.
I am hopefully going to complete the catalogue of my pieces later this year, i would like to write something useful about Taizan and Kinkozan, sadly your book is in Japernese! Louis Lawrence - whom you know - hoped you might be able to help me. Are you thinking of publishing in English?
I understand you have been in publishing - you will know how important your book is as the records of the Kinkozan kiln and Taizan kilns no longer exist.
I would be so grateful if you discovered anything about Taizan Yohei ix suring your research for your book.
My answer is below.
I was surprised to read your message.
Because it's happen to that "Kinkozan and Taizan" exhibition will be held in Yokoyama Art Museume ,Nagoya City from 7th June to 10th October.
Unfortunately it's not easy to publish the English version of my book and I don't know any descendents of Taizan.
However I appreciate what Mr.Louis Lawrence has done for me and I respect him so much.
And I got it that you would like to write something about Taizan and Kinkozan in your catalogue.
So I would like to write some a brief paper about Kyo-Satsuma and Kinkozan &Taizan.
Then I wrote some brief paper about Kyo-Satsuma and Kinkozan &Taizan.
And I asked Mrs.Akiko Nishida ,the auther of "Satsuma Buttons and Buckles" to translate it.
After Mrs.Akiko Nishida 's translation I send the English essayt to Mr.Martin Reynolds.
My English essay "Kinkozan and Taizan" as below.
Apart from some soft grazed earthenware like Raku Ware which has been baked in an inner kiln, there were various types of wares called Kyo-Ware, that is Kyoto Ware. They were Omuro Ware opened by Nonomura Ninsei, the great master of colored painting, Kenzan Ware created by Ogata Kenzan, Mizorogaike Ware, Shugakuin Ware. Kiyomizu Ware, Otowa Ware etc. Among them, Awata Ware which began to be baked in the climbing kiln by Sanmonji Kyuemon in 1624, was the oldest. He originally came to Awata from Seto in Owari (now Aichi Prefecture).
However, most of those wares disappeared in the late 17 th century and were integrated into two wares, Awata and Kiyomizu・Otowa. At the beginning of the 18 th century, Awata Ware reached the period of prosperity overwhelming others. 13 kilns and 7 smaller baking firms produced the best and most wares, including Kinkozan and Iwakurayama, known as tea bowl purveyors to Shogun family, Taizan Yohei, a dedicator of wares to the Imperial Palace, Hozan Yasubei, one of purveyors to the federal lords. The distinctive feature of Awata Ware is the overglazed painting with blue, green, and gold on the cream-colored bisque with cracks. It can be said that these colors were greatly influenced by Ninsei’s beautiful painting.
Entering the 19 th century, Kiyomizu Ware in Gojyozaka rose sharply as an emerging force. They had been content to make daily goods, but they began to introduce the technique of porcelain into their production. They bought up the clay, lured out craftsmen of Awata, and made high-class overglaze-painted pottery that looked like Awata Ware. Finally in 1823, the great conflict between Awata and Kiyomizu (Gojyozaka) erupted. Kiyomizu (Gojyozaka) allied with pottery wholesalers and inflicted a painful blow on Awata, the stronghold of the stably established force in Kyoto Ware.
Despite this conflict during the late Edo period, several master craftsmen such as Okuda Eisen, Aoku Mokubei, Ninnami Dohachi (second Takahachi Dohachi), and Eiraku Hozen appeared in the world of Kyoto Ware.
After the upheaval at the end of the Edo period, there were strong hopes for people in Kyoto to recover their city, but the new government of the Meiji era moved the capital to Tokyo in 1869. The emperor, nobles, bureaucrat, and industrialists followed to move to the new capital. Kyoto faced a crisis of decline.
Sixth Kinkozan Sobei (1823-1884), the major kiln master in Awata lost the status as tea bowl purveyor to the Shogun family and many important customers. He, however, trying to improve the glaze, finally developed an elaborate overglaze painting technique called Kyo-Satsuma in 1870. On the other hand, together with Taizan Yohei, he visited foreign merchants in Kobe and embarked on foreign trade in 1872. Kyo-Satsuma rode on the opportunistic wave of Japanism and greatly prospered. Japanism had been spread like the wildfire in the Westerners countries since they were ignited by lots of Japanese arts, such as ceramics, ukiyo-e paintings, handcrafts exhibited at the second Paris World Exposition in1867. By the expanding exports, Kyo-Satsuma played a role in the reconstruction of Kyoto.
One of the typical designs of Kyo-Satsuma in those days was a gold arabesque pattern drawn on a lapis lazuli background. Several windows are placed on the side of the pottery and various flowers and beautiful women dressed in kimono are painted inside them. It can be said that these elegant paintings inhabit the tradition of Awata Ware.
Though Kyo-Satsuma went smoothly achieving success at the three expositions; Vienna, Philadelphia, and the 3rd Paris, it gradually fell into overproduction and quality deterioration. In 1884 during the great recession, it came to be faced to “the scene of extinction of Awata Ware”. Just this year, my grandfather, the 7 th Kinkozan Sobei(1868-1927) took over the 6 th Sobei. When he learned that his representative masterpiece, “Ornamental Jar with a Pair of Phoenixes” was not exhibited at a museum during the Chicago Exposition in 1893, he realized that Japanism had come to an end.
Even in Japan, he felt a sense of crisis in the general decline of Kyoto Ware, because only Seihu Yohei got the prize at the 4 th Japan Industrial Exposition held in 1895. Yohei exhibited a monochromatic glazed work modeled after China ware. As the president of Kyoto Ceramics Chamber of Commerce and Industry, 7 th Sobei worked hard with Shohu Kajyo to build a ceramic testing facility for Kyoto Ware and established it in 1896. Later, many famous potters like Kusube Yaichi, Yagi Isso, Kawai Kanjiro, and Hamada Shoji learned here and went out into the ceramic world.
Next, when 7 th Sobei visited Paris to inspect the World Exposition in1900, he got shocked to see the Art Nouveau style dominated Europe and then he decided to undertake the reform Kyoto Ware. As soon as he returned to Japan after visiting various kilns in Europe, he started to reform the glazing technique, to improve the kiln, and to modernize the equipment, pondering together with Fujie Eiko, the head of the ceramic testing facility and Suwa Sozan, the advisor of Kinkozan factory. Adding these reforms, he tried to innovate the design with Asai Chu, the western-style painter, Dr. Nakazawa Iwata, the applied chemist, Kiyomizu Rokubei, and Miyanaga Tozan. They set up a study group of design named “Yutoen”
Owing to the success of these various reforms, by the year of 1910 when Japan-British Exposition was held, Kyo-Satsuma had reached the stage of perfection in glaze technique such as the crystal glaze, and matte glaze and luster glaze. In terms of design as well, its diversity showed a dramatic development not only in Art Nouveau style but in other style like Rinpa introduced by Kamisaka Sekka. Kyo-Satsuma finally reached the second peak since the beginning of the Meiji era. It is said that Kinkozan kiln alone exported up to 400,000 pieces in a single year. They flew into the world again.
The family of Taizan Yohei had kept the kiln in the place of Awata for generations and his name appears in the list as one of the eight Awata potters in an old document written in 1799. The family is said to have served as a purveyor to the imperial court. Every year on New Year’s Day, they presented Daifuku tea bowls decorated with pine, bamboo, and plum blossoms. It is told that during 4 th Taizan Yohei generation, he created the pottery with lapis lazuli glaze. Since then, his kiln had continued producing such valuable pottery.
On the other hand, Kinkozan family and Taizan family had kept a good relationship. In 1872, 6 th Kinkozan Sobei and 8 th Taizan Yohei visited some foreign merchant houses in Kobe and succeeded starting the expansion of Kyo-Satsuma export. They had been good friends for long.
The 9 th Taizan Yohei, a younger brother of 4 th Kiyomizu Rokubei, was adopted into Taizan family. Though he won numerous awards at home and abroad, he failed in foreign trade, which he had put his effort into. It is told that he closed the pottery business.
Now you can see porcelain plaques created by Taizan at the entrance of the small tunnel under the incline ruins near Keage, Kyoto. This is the very place where the Awata Ware was born. It is said the 9 th Taizann Yohei donated them. The characters on the plaques say “ think freely and merrily enjoying the splendid scenery”.
Translated by Mrs. Akiko Nishida
Mr.Martin Reynolds is coming to see "Kinkozan and Tiazan" exahibition of Yokoyama Art Museum which is held in Nagoya from 7th July to 9th October 2023.
And my lecture meeting Speech "the attractiveness of Kyo-SATSUMA&Kinkozan" will be held on the 24th of September.
Finely I would like to introduce my books.
Firsit one is
" Kinkozan Sobei:the story of an Awata Kiln A study of Kyo-Satsuma, Kyoto ceramics that touched the world".
Second one is
"Awata、painted with love stories in color The side story of Kinkozan Sobei in Awata Kiln".
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