Yamada family seal chops and signatures

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Bok
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Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:38 pm

Baisao wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:07 pm
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.
Interesting, I will compare it with that one too then!

All in all Hojo has his share of controversial statements on his website, especially in regards to Yixing vs Japanese clays.
Curiosity got the better of me, as well as I do like owning a pot from the family best known for learning from Yixing potters. A crucial link in tea ware history.
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Victoria
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Wed Apr 17, 2019 7:27 pm

Here are images of my Yamada Jozan II set with very fine calligraphy and figures having conversations. All the figures chatting on the kyusu are then individually placed on each cups. I have read that Jozan II selected contemporary artists to engrave the drawings. The kyusu is 220ml.

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Baisao
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Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:33 pm

Victoria wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 7:27 pm
Here are images of my Yamada Jozan II set with very fine calligraphy and figures having conversations. All the figures chatting on the kyusu are then individually placed on each cups. I have read that Jozan II selected contemporary artists to engrave the drawings. The kyusu is 220ml.
Jozan Kiln
Jozan Kiln
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This seal means “Jozan”, and I have only seen it used by Jozan II. The lid looks like it doesn’t fit well which also sways me from Jozan III since all the pieces I have and have seen have lids that fit perfectly. I read something a while back that stated Jozan III had developed a method for firing the lids so they fit perfectly (ergo, this method would not have been used by I &II).

What makes you think it is Jozan II instead of Jozan III?

Do you have the tomobaku?

Note: corrected information on the seal after looking at my notes.
Last edited by Baisao on Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Victoria
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Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:49 pm

Baisao wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:33 pm
This seal means “Jozan Kiln”, so it is possible it is II or III. The lid looks like it doesn’t fit well which sways me from Jozan III since all the pieces I have and have seen have lids that fit perfectly. I read something a while back that stated Jozan III had developed a method for firing the lids so they fit perfectly (ergo, this method would not have been used by I &II).

What makes you think it is Jozan II instead of Jozan III?
Do you have the tomobaku?
Yes, I also thought for a few years this was a Jozan III set, but then slowly studying Jozan family generational pieces I became convinced it was more likely Jozan II (Makoto). The finely detailed calligraphy and engraved figures, the style of kyusu, the seal, the clay and finish all are more like Jozan II. Jozan III is overall more 20thc modern stylistically. I then asked my source in Tokoname, who knows the Yamada family and kiln, and she confirmed the shape and carving is most likely Jozan II.

The lid is actually nice and tight, in the photos it looks looser than it is. The lid skirt has a snug fit to kyusu so it’s tight, but it is not as crisp as the Jozan III that I have. The lid skirt has an elegant slight incline that raises the lid exactly 1ml all around, that’s the gap in photos. What you say about lids though makes a lot of sense. The seal was commonly used by Jozan II. I didn’t come with a Tomobako (wooden box) or Ukon-fu (yellow cloth).

From Tokoname.jp regarding calligraphy and engravings;
Jozan YAMADA II : Mr. Makoto YAMADA (1897-1961)

The real name is Makoto. He learned how to throw by wheel from his father and how to engrave from Mr. Kashu YOSHIWARA.
He learned painting from Mr. Kinji YOSHIDA (artist name : Ichi-ha) who was a principal of Tokoname Town Ceramic School
and he took his name of Ni-ha. From around Taisho period, he changed his name to "Ko-Jozan", after death of his father,
he renamed to "Jozan II" and he made many teapots by using his traditional skills. His works also had carvings which
were made by famous calligraphers or painters.
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Baisao
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Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:29 pm

We’re in agreement. Minoru’s early works don’t look so mid century modern to me, though they definitely do as he matured as a potter, becoming very stylized after he was name a NLT.

Correction: the seal says “Jozan” and on closer inspection I don’t have any record of it being used by Minoru. I confused it with another seal that’s been used from Makoto to Sou. To me this confirms that it is Makoto Yamada. I’ll correct that in my original post.
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Victoria
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Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:48 pm

Baisao wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:29 pm
We’re in agreement. Minoru’s early works don’t look so mid century modern to me, though they definitely do as he matured as a potter, becoming very stylized after he was name a NLT.

Correction: the seal says “Jozan” and on closer inspection I don’t have any record of it being used by Minoru. I confused it with another seal that’s been used from Makoto to Sou. To me this confirms that it is Makoto Yamada. I’ll correct that in my original post.
Yes, it’s easy to mix them up. In my Jozan III book, that Emu helped research and archive, this particular kyusu style doesn’t appear. I don’t think of Jozan III as a mid-century artist (40s-60s), more so in the spirit of 20th century freedom to explore new styles as an expression of the modern age he lived in. But since he was born in 1924 the body of his work does fall in the middle of the 20thc., (a term usurped by real estate agents). And yes, Jozan III’s very early work is -learning from the elders I and II- and so his style as a young artisan reflected that of an earlier generation than his own, which is why I at first thought this set was Jozan III. Only a young artist could make such delicate, careful, precise engravings and calligraphy -but then I read that Jozan II studied under renowned calligraphy and engraving artists, and later enlisted younger artists for this work, so my focus shifted.

P.S. I have not used this set yet, even thought I’ve been observing it on its shelf for a few years now. It has a reverence that asks to -watch first, use later.
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steanze
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Thu Apr 18, 2019 11:41 am

Here are the signatures of my Yozan III.

This is on a shudei kyusu:
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This is on a wood fired, ash glazed kyusu:
IMG_20190418_123437882.jpg
IMG_20190418_123437882.jpg (82.71 KiB) Viewed 3226 times
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Victoria
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Thu Apr 18, 2019 11:55 am

@steanze that Mayake kyusu is so beautiful, is it also very thin and light?. Those hand signatures were only used for very special select pieces.
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Thu Apr 18, 2019 4:27 pm

@Victoria Yes, it is very thin and light. The clay is different from the shudei, it is a coarser clay with quartz particles mixed in, which show through the ash glaze. The hand-signed shudei ones can be found occasionally, the ash glazed ones are indeed quite rare.
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Thu Apr 18, 2019 7:41 pm

@Victoria thanks for the pictures of Jozan II! And all related information, as well as all other contributions @Baisao , @steanze. This thread will turn out to be a Yamada reference trove! Can’t wait to contribute with mine...
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Wed Apr 24, 2019 8:56 am

Tadaa! And here it is - apologies, it is late and the light less than ideal, will take pictures in daylight once I have some time. Volume is 120ml, first impressions of the clay is smooth and creamy, at least the outside. Needs some more cleaning to get rid of storage smells, otherwise good to go for testing!

Workmanship is excellent, but that was to be expected. Seal only says Jozan, no other marks. To the unsuspecting, it really looks like a classic Yixing... was even sold to me as one :lol:

Any input and thoughts are welcome @Baisao , @Victoria!
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Wed Apr 24, 2019 9:04 am

The gentle, subtle curve of the spout is something you do not see often on straight spouts, so far I only saw it on some late Qing/ROC teapots. Beauiful!
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Wed Apr 24, 2019 12:13 pm

What kind of filter does it have, slightly billowing wall filter? The vertical foot rim mirrored by the raised upper rim is a pretty nice feature. None of my Yamada have any kind of rim at the foot, smooth bottoms except Jozan II. That looks like an early Jozan seal, but I’ll have to look through my files later.

This site references that seal as used by Jozan III, but the pot looks more like II to me; https://chano-yu.com/famous-japanese-potters-and-marks/
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Baisao
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Wed Apr 24, 2019 4:04 pm

The seal is new to me. It says "Jozan". Did it come with its tomobako or other items?
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Wed Apr 24, 2019 6:42 pm

Baisao wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 4:04 pm
The seal is new to me. It says "Jozan". Did it come with its tomobako or other items?
It had none of those, the person selling had it labelled as Yixing.

Actually, it is almost the same as MarshalN had posted years ago on his blog. He had trouble finding out the exact Jozan as well: http://www.marshaln.com/2011/02/yamada-jozan/
Different seal though.

Might this simple chop be one used for the more standard teapots, as opposed to the more expressive ones?
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