Ode to the Kyusu

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Yoroko
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Tue Mar 02, 2021 10:30 am

@pedant
Very sad to learn from your post that Ken Shimkizu passed away. When? He was such a good potter. I like his work and to watch him working on YT-Videos - I've bookmarked some of them and just rewatched.

But Watanabe Tozo is fine - I hope? I've just bought a beautiful Kyūsu made by him.
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LeoFox
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Tue Mar 02, 2021 2:49 pm

Yoroko wrote:
Tue Mar 02, 2021 10:30 am
pedant
Very sad to learn from your post that Ken Shimkizu passed away. When? He was such a good potter. I like his work and to watch him working on YT-Videos - I've bookmarked some of them and just rewatched.

But Watanabe Tozo is fine - I hope? I've just bought a beautiful Kyūsu made by him.
Some people complain that Watanabe tozo pots are designed poorly because of tendency to drip and have a slow, clumsy pour. I also complained in the beginning but have learned to really like his pots. They have a lot of character and may be stubborn, like old men, requiring you to develop an approach towards them as they wont reach out to you. However, to me, it is worth it.

The key is that his pots don't tend to do well with smaller fragmented leaves that easily clog. To mitigate:

1. Use large leafed tea

2. If your tea leaves are fragmented, underfill. I use 40 or 70 ml in my 100 mL kyusu and it works well.

To me he is a true sado island mumyoi artist, born, raised, trained and matured in that tradition. And he is still making pots at ~90 years! Wow! I don't think there are many other, if any, sado island teapot makers using mumyoi.
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Baisao
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Tue Mar 02, 2021 6:40 pm

@LeoFox grabs the keisaku from the master! Hahahaha!
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pedant
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Tue Mar 02, 2021 9:08 pm

Yoroko wrote:
Tue Mar 02, 2021 10:30 am
pedant
Very sad to learn from your post that Ken Shimkizu passed away. When? He was such a good potter. I like his work and to watch him working on YT-Videos - I've bookmarked some of them and just rewatched.

But Watanabe Tozo is fine - I hope? I've just bought a beautiful Kyūsu made by him.
he was hospitalized in 2016, but i don't remember when he passed away. i'm guessing it was that year or the following year.

tozo is fine afaik.
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Yoroko
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Wed Mar 03, 2021 4:26 am

LeoFox wrote:
Tue Mar 02, 2021 2:49 pm
Some people complain that Watanabe tozo pots are designed poorly because of tendency to drip and have a slow, clumsy pour. I also complained in the beginning but have learned to really like his pots. They have a lot of character and may be stubborn, like old men, requiring you to develop an approach towards them as they wont reach out to you. However, to me, it is worth it.

The key is that his pots don't tend to do well with smaller fragmented leaves that easily clog. To mitigate:

1. Use large leafed tea

2. If your tea leaves are fragmented, underfill. I use 40 or 70 ml in my 100 mL kyusu and it works well.

To me he is a true sado island mumyoi artist, born, raised, trained and matured in that tradition. And he is still making pots at ~90 years! Wow! I don't think there are many other, if any, sado island teapot makers using mumyoi.
I don't care so much about dripping, but clogging is an issue --> Thanks for the tips - luckily I have no long steamed teas at the moment and in the future I'll use my other Kysusu for them. As far as I know Watanabe Tozo is born 1939. So he is or will become 82.

pedant wrote:
Tue Mar 02, 2021 9:08 pm
he was hospitalized in 2016, but i don't remember when he passed away. i'm guessing it was that year or the following year.

tozo is fine afaik.
Thanks for sharing your information. I liked his work very much.

But W. Tozo is fine - thanks.
faj
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Thu Mar 04, 2021 5:19 pm

Two pots I recently saw up for sale, one from Hokujo, one from his son. I do not remember seeing a similar pot from the father before. If feels as if one echoes the other :
  • Vertical, cylindrical body shape
  • Dome-shaped lid, with a curved, cylindrical cross-section "handle", and the hold underneath
  • Ball filter
I wonder whether the similarities come from the son emulating the father, the father nodding to the son, or both having fun experimenting with new shared elements. It is very possible that those elements have been part of Hokuko's production and I just have not seen them, I have only cursory knowledge of his output.

Of course, it may be just me seeing links where there are none.

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Hokujo.2.jpg
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Kohokujo.1.jpg
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Kookujo.2.jpg
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Bok
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Thu Mar 04, 2021 6:39 pm

faj wrote:
Thu Mar 04, 2021 5:19 pm
Two pots I recently saw up for sale, one from Hokujo, one from his son. I do not remember seeing a similar pot from the father before. If feels as if one echoes the other :
  • Vertical, cylindrical body shape
  • Dome-shaped lid, with a curved, cylindrical cross-section "handle", and the hold underneath
  • Ball filter
I wonder whether the similarities come from the son emulating the father, the father nodding to the son, or both having fun experimenting with new shared elements. It is very possible that those elements have been part of Hokuko's production and I just have not seen them, I have only cursory knowledge of his output.

Of course, it may be just me seeing links where there are none.

ImageImage
ImageImage
Actually the first one seems more inspired by Yonishi kohei
faj
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Thu Mar 04, 2021 7:06 pm

Bok wrote:
Thu Mar 04, 2021 6:39 pm
Actually the first one seems more inspired by Yonishi kohei
After looking a several dozen teapots from him in a few minutes, I can say for sure he sure has a dizzying array of colors, textures and shapes in his repertoire, but I think I see your point...

yohei_1.jpg
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yohei_2.jpg
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yohei_3.jpg
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Victoria
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Thu Mar 04, 2021 9:46 pm

faj wrote:
Thu Mar 04, 2021 7:06 pm
Bok wrote:
Thu Mar 04, 2021 6:39 pm
Actually the first one seems more inspired by Yonishi kohei
After looking a several dozen teapots from him in a few minutes, I can say for sure he sure has a dizzying array of colors, textures and shapes in his repertoire, but I think I see your point...
I’ve seen this profile used by various Japanese artisans. I think it is referencing Samurai helmets.
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Baisao
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Fri Mar 05, 2021 12:29 am

Victoria wrote:
Thu Mar 04, 2021 9:46 pm
faj wrote:
Thu Mar 04, 2021 7:06 pm
Bok wrote:
Thu Mar 04, 2021 6:39 pm
Actually the first one seems more inspired by Yonishi kohei
After looking a several dozen teapots from him in a few minutes, I can say for sure he sure has a dizzying array of colors, textures and shapes in his repertoire, but I think I see your point...
I’ve seen this profile used by various Japanese artisans. I think it is referencing Samurai helmets.
It’s possible. To me me they look like bronze temple bells, especially the knobbed example from the father. That one is definitely a temple bell.
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Victoria
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Fri Mar 05, 2021 12:45 am

Yes @Baisao I’ve seen similar dimpling on those bells also. Some Samurai helmets and armor use the same dimple features. The profile though is more like a Samurai helmet. @Chip I remember has a few kyusu with that profile and dimple armor motif.
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LeoFox
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Fri Mar 05, 2021 7:24 am

Japanese temple Bell or bonsho
SmartSelect_20210305-081943_Samsung Internet.jpg
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https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonsh%C5%8D
Chi or nyū (乳), bosses around the upper part of the bell that improve its resonance


Samurai Hat or kabuto.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kabuto
Hoshi-bachi kabuto (star helmet bowl) with protruding rivet heads, have large rivets (o-boshi), small rivets (ko-boshi) and a rivet with a chrysantemoid-shaped washer at its base (za-boshi). Hoshi-bachi kabuto could also be suji bachi kabuto if there were raised ribs or ridges showing where the helmet plates came together.
SmartSelect_20210305-082902_Samsung Internet.jpg
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From wikipedia
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Baisao
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Fri Mar 05, 2021 9:26 am

I could fit my head inside both!
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Baisao
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Fri Mar 05, 2021 10:10 am

I present a 3rd possibility for what inspired the shape:
Oompa loompa.PNG
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faj
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Fri Mar 05, 2021 10:28 am

Baisao wrote:
Fri Mar 05, 2021 10:10 am
I present a 3rd possibility for what inspired the shape:
:lol: :lol: :lol:

The shape, and probably the color too!
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