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Ceramics - MINOWA Yasuo  


 Hong Kong

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When I discovered MINOWA Yasuo's work, his wife was actually at the gallery fielding questions from customers. I vaguely suggested I might be interested in buying his work for resale, and by the end of the day I think both of them were in shock at how much I was taking home with me. Mr. Minowa came to the gallery to offer some additional selections from his latest work to consider. I completed some other buying errands at another gallery, but Mr. and Mrs. Minowa were kind enough to invite my friend and me to his workshop after we finished, located off a quiet street at the edge of Mashiko, near Kasama. Mrs. Minowa prepared English tea and some Danish butter cookies on European China, and I struggled to talk with Mr. Minowa in my mediocre Japanese, and my Japanese friend struggled to parse the technical pottery terms that both Minowa and I resorted to when exchanging questions and answers.

The Minowa family always shows me incredible hospitality when I visit Mashiko, and last time I visited I was able to see his workshop in full daylight without the aid of translation help. The yard surrounding their country home is filled with aromatic sansho, beautiful wildflowers whose names I will never remember, and even some unusual citrus fruit. Of course, as happy as I am to talk to you about the kindness of the Minowas, I'm even more excited to introduce you to the quality of Mr. Minowa's beautiful ceramic work.

Mr. Minowa primarily uses an iron-based kaki (persimmon) glaze made famous by Mashikos Shoji Hamada, and also produces objects using an ash glaze. His work is now primarily gas-fired, which produces striking variations between each pot. Depending on the kiln atmosphere and the clay used, the persimmon glaze may have an iron-spotted (temmoku) appearance or a dramatic reddish rainbow striated pattern, which Minowa calls niji-yuu. The temmoku pots have subtle variations around the rims and feet, and the iron spots may appear anywhere from red to blue. Then niji-yuu pots can have both matte and shiny variations, and the color variations even on a single pot can be very dramatic. The ash glazed pots have subtle colors particularly well-suited for serving beverages such as tea and sake. Mr. Minowa uses a manually-operated kickwheel to throw his pots, primarily producing sake- and tea-ware as well as visually striking vases.

Mr. Minowa unfortunately passed away due to a brain aneurism in 2005, so we expect that we will not be able to procure any additional pieces from him except on rare occasions.



Pottery history

1942 - Born in Tokyo

1969 - Trained at Sakuma-city, Kuya pottery garden

1974 - Training kiln at Mashiko-cho, Kimura Kazuyoshis kiln

1976 - Built a kiln in Mogi-cho, Fukazawa, Mashiko area

1981 - Accepted in a new art exhibition of traditional industrial art

1983 - Accepted in a new art exhibition of traditional industrial art


Based in Mashiko City, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan

Showing 1-11 of 11 itemsPage 1
Guinomi with Niji-Yuu effect

This excellent guinomi can be used for tea or sake.

Includes signed artist box. We do have a number of guinomi, but each one will have variations, temmoku to niji-yuu....

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Our Price: $69.00 

Kabin with Niji-Yuu by Minowa (Tall vase with rainbow iron glaze)

Minowa-san's tall vases are always memorable. The very unpredictable niji-yuu (rainbow glaze) effects of his iron glaze means that even Mr. Minowa doesn't know exactly what he'll see when...

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Our Price: $280.00 

Minowa Yasuo Matcha-Jawan (Mashiko) (sold)

Minowa Yasuo makes a small number of Matcha bowls. This ash-glazed bowl is beautiful, and although it doesn't really have a left-hand side stamp in the style of Raku-yaki tea bowls, you can use...

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Our Price: $200.00 

Niji-yuu Tsubo Kabin (Gourd-shaped vase)

Once again Minowa's magical persimmon glaze works wonders. Never quite the same, this glaze fills with rainbow-like striations that cannot be precisely controlled. This is one of the more...

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Our Price: $490.00 

Sakazuki (wide sake cup)

Striking low, open sake cup made with persimmon glaze. Rainbow striations add character. Includes signed wooden artist box. This piece was sold, but contact us for information on obtaining...

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Our Price: $79.00 

Small Niji/Tenmoku Tsubo (Gourd shaped vase)

One of the wonderful things about Minowa's work is that, even though he repeats the same basic forms, when you buy a vase, you know it will not be exactly like any other he will...

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Our Price: $275.00 

Temmoku Chaki Set By Minowa (Teapot and two cups) (sold)

This Minowa Yasuo "chaki" or tea set is a stellar example of his temmoku work. It features beautiful bluish spots in the yunomi, with some suggestion of "oil spot" temmoku. The teapot features...

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Our Price: $475.00 

Temmoku Guinomi (sold)

This guinomi features Minowa's iron-based kaki-yuu glaze in temmoku style.

The pictured guinomi features mostly reddish spots. Because of variations in firing, other temmoku-style...

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Our Price: $69.00 

Temmoku Sakazuki by Minowa

People keep snapping up Minowa's beautiful temmoku work, so we were only able to get one sakazuki from him this year. This is an eminently collectable piece, and perfectly suited for...

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Our Price: $149.00 

Temmoku Tokkuri and ochoko by Minowa (sold)

A classic tokkuri set, this temmoku bottle and cup paired by Minowa-san comes with a signed wooden artist box. Suitable for a favorite sake lover as an elegant gift, or keep it all to...

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Our Price: $299.00 

Temmoku Tokkuri Set (Sold)

Perfect for your sake-loving friend, this set features a tokkuri (bottle) and two small guinomi (sake cups).

Featuring Minowa's persimmon glaze with a temmoku-style...

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Our Price: $275.00 
Showing 1-11 of 11 itemsPage 1


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