Yamada family seal chops and signatures

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Bok
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Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:31 pm

Dear Tea knowledge cloud,

I am wondering if anyone has a good link or else as to how to classify the different generations of the Yamada clan?
They seem to have used a multitude of different chops each and/or hand carved signatures over the decades.

I have a vintage- possible antique Yamada Jozan in the mail and was trying to find out which Jozan it might be (I-III, IV can safely be excluded due to the style of the pot). Will post pictures once I got it. :mrgreen:

So far, I found only this:
http://www.tokoname.or.jp/teapot/maker_ ... n_kiln.htm
http://www.japanesepotterymarks.info/ja ... show_all=1

None of it is really comprehensive yet. Most crucially, the first generations seem to be under represented in terms of info, both text and imagery.

Any infos are highly appreciated!
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Victoria
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Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:17 am

Those links are okay. My recommendation, as with all collecting, is start with a reputable source, start slow, observe carefully, piece by piece build your own database of information. Up for auction, every once in a while, magazines, and limited edition books come up. It helps to have a good translator and friend who knows Tokoname artisans. The signatures and stamps change over time and also intermix.

May I ask what your interest is in Yamada family kiln? I ask because I am under the impression you don’t really enjoy Japanese greens. The shudei clay though works well with high mountain oolong.

Since you enjoy roasted oolong, Shigaraki Mayake kyusu by Yamada Sou and others are really perfect, in my experience.
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Bok
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Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:55 am

Victoria wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:17 am
May I ask what your interest is in Yamada family kiln? I ask because I am under the impression you don’t really enjoy Japanese greens. The shudei clay though works well with high mountain oolong.
You may :)

I do indeed not enjoy Japanese greens.

What peaked my interest is a statement on Hojo’s website:
“In fact, in the past, Tokoname used to produce good Zhuni. It was called Hon Shudei.”
He explains further in another post that this original clay is now defunct, stating that maybe Jozan III still used some in the beginning, but not in later years. Can not find the second statement anymore on his site, too bad to navigate…

I am interested in this older Tokoname clay, which is supposedly similar to Zhuni. Which is why I was hunting after a Jozan I-III teapot, to do some side by side comparison with pure Zhuni. It will all make sense when you see the pot I got, it is in the early purely Chinese style and size, which fits my design and usage preference.

Also I did find that whatever does well with Sencha, so far worked very well for my high mountain oolongs.

Last, but not least, I do think a tea ware collection is missing something without a Yamada pot. Not even mentioning that those vintage Yamadas seem to slip under the radar quite often, thus can be had very cheap, compared to those of the living Yamadas.
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steanze
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Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:07 pm

I think many of the Yamadas I-III pots are really beautiful, it is totally worth it to get one. In my experience, the clay is very different from lao zhuni. But it is nice clay, so it's good to have one in your collection!
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Baisao
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Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:37 pm

That second link incorrectly places distantly related potters with the Yamada surname in with the Jozan Yamada lineage. I have a personal catalog of seals from the family kiln I can reference. DM me a photo of the seal and writing on the kiribako and I'll see how it matches my info.

FWIW, what I have on I & II are still speculative or up for interpretation. At the very least I can weed your's out from the false attributions.
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Bok
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Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:36 pm

@steanze thanks! I got a really classic shape, the average Yamada enthusiast will probably roll their eyes at...

@Baisao I will take you up on that when the pot arrives and I can take some relevant pictures! Thanks! I found as well that the information on I. and II. are sparse and not reliable.

Funny how each seems to have used quite a lot of different chops over time. Or maybe it is the nature of the chops that degrades with use and forces them to update?
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Victoria
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Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:00 pm

@Bok Looking at my II-IV Jozan kyusu, they all use shudei clay of varying textures and density. The earlier ones feel like they use tighter denser clays and or processing/finishing. Early Emu pear skin is my favorite clay. Don’t have enough experience with ‘real’ zhuni to comment as to it’s similarity with shudei. The signatures change over time I think because the artist wants to identify a change in time and or style. For instance, earlier Yamada III hand signature uses more lines than his later. Hand signatures (rather than stamps) by the artist signify the pot is selected as superior and will be more expensive. I agree having at least one Yamada rounds out a collection very nicely.
Baisao wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:37 pm
That second link incorrectly places distantly related potters with the Yamada surname in with the Jozan Yamada lineage.
Hm interesting, I’m not seeing which ones you are saying are incorrect. Can you identify? To me all the makers signatures and stamps on the kyusu look correct. Some text that is on the kiribako (boxes) I’m not familiar with yet, but the corresponding signatures on kyusu look correct. Maybe I’m not seeing something though.
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Baisao
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Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:33 pm

Victoria wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:00 pm
Baisao wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:37 pm
That second link incorrectly places distantly related potters with the Yamada surname in with the Jozan Yamada lineage.
Hm interesting, I’m not seeing which ones you are saying are incorrect. Can you identify? To me all the makers signatures and stamps on the kyusu look correct. Some text that is on the kiribako (boxes) I’m not familiar with yet, but the corresponding signatures on kyusu look correct. Maybe I’m not seeing something though.
Only one of these is Jozan Yamada III
Sake
Sake
5B8C92D6-1056-433D-A77F-D490CE6F147C.jpeg (248.1 KiB) Viewed 1203 times
This is another potter with the surname Yamada. His pottery is prized but it is not Jozan Yamada III
Wrong Yamada
Wrong Yamada
511EBEC8-E93F-4F44-89C2-1159F0E55E7E.jpeg (282.68 KiB) Viewed 1203 times
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Baisao
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Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:38 pm

Bok wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:36 pm
Funny how each seems to have used quite a lot of different chops over time. Or maybe it is the nature of the chops that degrades with use and forces them to update?
The family did use a lot of chops and even reused them. My experience, however, is that they added other marks when a chop was reused to indicate that it was by another family member. For example, the chop may say it is from “Yamada Kiln”, but marks in proximity will say that it is Sou.
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Victoria
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Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:39 pm

Baisao wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:33 pm
Victoria wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:00 pm
Baisao wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:37 pm
That second link incorrectly places distantly related potters with the Yamada surname in with the Jozan Yamada lineage.
Hm interesting, I’m not seeing which ones you are saying are incorrect. Can you identify? To me all the makers signatures and stamps on the kyusu look correct. Some text that is on the kiribako (boxes) I’m not familiar with yet, but the corresponding signatures on kyusu look correct. Maybe I’m not seeing something though.
Only one of these is Jozan Yamada III

5B8C92D6-1056-433D-A77F-D490CE6F147C.jpeg

This is another potter with the surname Yamada. His pottery is prized but it is not Jozan Yamada III

511EBEC8-E93F-4F44-89C2-1159F0E55E7E.jpeg
Thank you. First image top left stamp is Jozan III, the other two not. You are right about the second image not Jozan, signature and style isn’t correct. Otherwise a good source imo.
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Bok
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Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:42 pm

Victoria wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:00 pm
Bok Looking at my II-IV Jozan kyusu, they all use shudei clay of varying textures and density.
Thanks for the input Victoria, mind posting pictures of your pots? Especially the earlier ones I would be interested in.
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Bok
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Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:43 pm

Baisao wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:38 pm
The family did use a lot of chops and even reused them. My experience, however, is that they added other marks when a chop was reused to indicate that it was by another family member. For example, the chop may say it is from “Yamada Kiln”, but marks in proximity will say that it is Sou.
Interesting and good system! Thanks for the info.
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Baisao
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Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:07 pm

Regarding the hon shudei that Minoru Yamada used, steanze is correct that it is different than lao zhuni. It is quite unique but if I was forced to make a comparison to another clay I would compare it to late 60s F1 hongni in texture: it is fine grained, dense, and has a silky feeling to it. Nevertheless, I prefer to think of it as being its own thing.
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Victoria
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Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:12 pm

Okay, you’ve twisted my arm lol, tomorrow I will finally try and take pictures of my Jozan II. It is an amazing calligraphy set with carved figures having conversations. For now here are a few shudei clay Yamada family kyusu

Upper left either Jozan II or early Jozan III, lower right Jozan III. Upper right & lower left Emu pear skin shudei kyusu.

Edit: Upper left Jozan III kiln, lower right Jozan III. Upper right & lower left Emu pear skin shudei kyusu.
552BBCA5-87FF-401B-9C9A-F3D8E4836299.jpeg
552BBCA5-87FF-401B-9C9A-F3D8E4836299.jpeg (114.53 KiB) Viewed 1188 times

And a line up, while I was studying whether or not second from left Shigaraki Mayake kyusu is Yamada family. Not sure atm.
Line up from left; 90ml Yamada Sou, 240ml Shigaraki Mayake (maker ?), 250ml Emu, 280ml Emu, 300ml Jozan III, 350ml Jozan III kiln.

928508F3-F567-4329-BE43-5BF3B99D0337.jpeg
928508F3-F567-4329-BE43-5BF3B99D0337.jpeg (64.09 KiB) Viewed 1188 times
Note: corrected information on Jozan III kiln 350ml kyusu.
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Bok
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Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:22 pm

Victoria wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:12 pm
Okay, you’ve twisted my arm lol, tomorrow I will finally try and take pictures of my Jozan II.
Much appreciated, looking forward to it!

Nice collection you got there. My favourite among them is the tallish Emu pear skin, very elegant.
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