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ken kata

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Everything posted by ken kata

  1. Japanese Ceramics - Soma


    I'm sure you guys all know Soma ware.

    If you see their tea cup and dish wares, you will know immediately. 


    This is a Tea Bowl that I bought a few years ago.

    A bit different from what Soma is noted for..


    SOMA YAKI   link :




    From the link above :


    " On March of 2011, an unprecedented disaster struck the Soma-yaki potters.

    The tsunami that ensued from the magunitude-9 Great East Japan Earthquake damaged the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, which was located only a few miles from Namie, and caused one of the worst meltdowns in history.

    The town’s entire population of 21,000 was evacuated. As of May 2020, most of Namie, including Obori was still heavily contaminated with radiation, and access remains restricted. Before the earthquake, there were about 20-25 factories.

    Unfortunately, due to the aging of potters, and financial issues in addition to the tremendous difficulties caused by the evacuation, some of them went out of business. The other half moved away from the region and got to rebuild kilns.

    Today, they create tableware, decor and jewelries with new fashionable designs as well as the traditional double-wall crackleware with an image of a horse, appreciating that they can make Soma-yaki again. " 




    Soma Chawan 7 28 18.jpg

  2. Japanese Ceramics -Sumidagawa

    I bought this pretty vase/Flask , and, I have only seen one other  like it for sale.

    I also got two other rSumidagawa vases.

    Those have the small men or children figurines on the other surfaces.

    The Crab Theme ones are the hardest to find.

    Not to be confused with the Rakuzan , Shigaraki or Suigetsu ceramic Crabs.

    I will post my ceramic "Crab" collection soon. 




    Sumidagawa Flask 10 26 18.jpg

  3. Nihonto - Wakizashi in Shirasaya


    I got this Wakizashi awhile back. I still don't know what it is.

    I got several blades that I never posted to inquire about.

    Most of my blades are the " low cost" , and, not worth posting , and,

    wasting the other member's time..

    I just look at my swords when I feel like looking.

    I have been fortunate to have 3 rooms that I can use to make my small

    Japanese Museum with my collectables .

    I think I got over 500 pieces of Japanese tea bowls and other ceramic pieces.

    I surround myself in my collection. :)



    EDO WAKI Hamon.jpg

    EDO Waki 001 m.jpg

  4. Shoji  Hamada - Shinsaku Hamada


    Son of Shoji Hamada , and, along with Tatsuzo Simaoka, studied under Shoji Hamada.



    Hamada Shinsaku Yunomi m.jpg

  5. Hamada Shoji - Tatsuzo Shimaoka


    Two pieces of my Mashiko/Mingei Collection .  Made by Japanese Living Treasure, Tatsuzo Shimaoka.

    His father was a ornamental cord braider, and, his artwork carry's on in his

    "Jomon " ( cord style) pottery.

    Shimaoka Tatsuzo Yunomi m.jpg

    Shimaoka Tatsuzo Plate m.jpg

  6. Kitaoji Rosanjin  - Joan Mirviss Lectures


    I enjoy Joan Mirviss' lecture on Japanese Ceramics.

    She just up-loaded two more video Lectures on Kitaoji Rosanjin and other passed Japanese Potters.





  7. The Unknown Craftsman -Shoji Hamada,  Mashiko, Mingei and Karatsu


    Another love of mine is Shoji Hamada and the Hamada Family, and, Mashiko ware and the Mingei Movement.


    After my love for Seto/Mino wares and Karatsu ceramics, I enjoy Mashiko and the Hamada Family Tradition.

    I have always felt the connection between Karatsu ware and Mashiko ware.


    I love the brush work of the Potters.

    e-shino, Oribe, e-Karatsu all have that Ink Brush Paintings that I love.

    It started with Chinese ink Brush Paintings on scrolls.

    From realistic to impressionistic, and, then,  catching the love of the Japanese people.

    Also, from Korea, in their " Buncheong " which is short for  "  Bunchong Punch'ǒng Sagi " . 

    " Gray stoneware body coated with a white slip, and decorative designs are painted on using an iron pigment., under a clear glaze with greenish tint. "


    My Shoji Hamada Mizusashi ( Water Jar ) 

    Shoji Hamada Mizusashi m.jpg

  8. Hello Tony, I made this Tachi Sword Stand out of some pieces of wood I had.. I converted the Bedroom Closet to a "Tokonoma" (Alcove) ...
  9. Phil Rogers    1951 - 2020


    This December 22nd, will be one year since the passing of Phil Rogers..

    One of the great potters that brought so much to the modern world of pottery.

    In the sense , he brought us closer in to the world of Japanese ceramics and pottery.

    Since Phil's passing, I notice that most of his videos on Japanese pottery and his visits to the Mashiko shops and the works and world of Shoji Hamada, the Hamada Family, and, the Mingei Movement were removed from the internet.


    I loved watching those videos over and over.


    Thank You Phil Rogers..

    You will be missed....  


    I did have a chance to speak to Phil, and, I bought one of Shoji Hamada's  

    H133  Pressed dishes..

        " These pressed dishes, influenced by English slip ware
    hump molded dishes, were a form that Hamada produced
    in various glazes and patterns.
      This example carries the broken straw motif in iron brush pattern.
    A very typical and immediately recognizable work by Hamada, and,
    very suitable as a first Hamada Shoji in a Collection "

                                                               - PHIL ROGERS

     I received this dish from Phil Rogers about two years ago..

    Dish is 5 inches across.

    Shoji Hamada's "Broken Sugarcane" Brush work is well recognized in the Mashiko/Mingei world.



    Hamada Shoji Dish m.jpg

  10. Japanese Tea Bowl - Mt. Fuji Tea Bowl Collection


    I use to buy lots of Mt. Fuji theme Tea Bowls.

    This is an old photo.

    I made a larger shelves , but, I need to clear up all the

    plates and other tea bowls on the floor in my Tea Bowl Room.

    I got so much ceramic/pottery stuff, , I stopped buying ceramics.

    Then, I can take nice photos of my display rooms.



    Mt. Fuji Collection Aka.jpg

  11. Japanese Armor Room - High Fidelity 


    I tried putting my A-9 Towers in my Armor Room as a second Audio System.

    NOBSOUND TUBE  Pre Amp with replicated Marantz Model 7 internals. McIntosh  Amplifier.  :) Martin Logan XL-15's in the background. They sound "Plush", but, still sounds good. 

    I got so much Japanese stuff in my Rooms. This is my Armor and Oribe Ceramics room. Now, the floor is full of Mizusashi Water Jars...  :o


    Room 1.jpg

    Armor Room 001.jpg

  12. Japanese Ceramics - Natural Glazed from Excavations


    I have read that there are many Natural Glazed items found at the various excavation sites throughout Japan.

    I was curious to see what these early ceramic pieces look like.

    Many can be bought on the internet, and, the cost seem relatively low, but, it's probably because there are so abundant.

    Another reason, might be, that they are not "real" artifacts.. ???

    I have one medium size jar, one that seems to be an ewer, and, 4 Yamachawans, ( Mountain Tea Bowls ).. only 3 are shown.


    Ko Seto 4 Lug m.jpg

    Ko Seto II m.jpg

    Natural Glaze Ewer 1s.jpg

    Yamachawaon 100 m.jpg

    Yamachawan 2 m.jpg

    Yamachawan 3 m.jpg

    Ko Seto Ewer m.jpg

  13. Japanese Ceramics - Flight from Seto Mountain


    Of all the Japanese ceramic pieces I like/buy, I love Seto/Mino .

    I try to read and watch everything about the history and items made, especially the early periods of development.

    There are so many aspects and details, and, to find and gather all the facts to establish what really did happen and how things came to be.

    One is the "MOMOYAMA ' period Tea Bowls that look similar  the Edo period Ao Oribe Tea Bowls. 

    I believe many ceramic enthusiast are fascinated by these "Less than perfect" bowls, and, like Koto Blades, no one seems to know how they were made or came to be what they are/look like. 

    These early bowls have several " factors " that can have their own discussions in it's self.


    One period that  I want to learn more from is "What exactly happen and what changes, or, exchanges ( between the Seto and Mino Potters) took place during that time.

    It is

    " Flight from Seto Mountain " and "Summons to the Kilns "


    " During the Warring States period many potters fled Seto for Mino in order to escape the war, as the term "Seto-yama-risan (Flight from Seto mountain)" suggests, where they received protection under the policies of Oda Nobunaga. Bowls and decorative plates with the distinctive style of Seto ware, Oribe, Shino and Ki-seto have been discovered in the remains of Mino's kilns from this period. 
    Upon entering the Edo period, the potters who had left Seto as part of the "Seto-yama-risan" returned to Seto region once again. The Owari branch of the Tokugawa family summoned the potters back to Seto as part of the so-called "Kamadoya-yobimodoshi (Summons to the kilns)", and the Seto area flourished once more.  "

    I forgot  what book or website I got this Quote from... :(

    Added :  This is the website for that paragraph above :



  14. Stuff I Made - Malachite, Amboyna Burl, Pink Ivory


    Cue collector's cues, that I was fortunate to make their "Joint Protectors " . Crown Cue Caps. 


    " It's easier to be the first guy, than the second guy trying to copy the first guy "   Alton Takata - Cue Caps  :laughing:


    Malachite  " WINGS II " , by great CNC Cuemaker Thomas Wayne.

    Silver Wire inlaying. 


    8 Point Ebony/ Amboyna Burl Cue by the Hall of Fame cuemaker Bill Schick.  Bill uses a Pantograph for his inlay work. No CNC involved.  


    Awesome/Pretty Cue - African Pink Ivory Wood cue by Keith Josey. I read, at one time, only Kings could posses this wood. Penalty for others was death. :wow:


    Thomas Wayne Wings 2.jpg

    Schick Amboyna 2020 s.jpg


  15. Semi Precious Stones - Sugitite , Light Denum Lapis, Charoite


    Fleur de lis ,  Sugilite and Light Blue/Denim Lapis 

    Sugilite  was first discovered in 1944 by a Japanese petrologist named Ken-ichi Sugi, which is where it gets its unique name.

    Sugilite and Light Blue Lapis 


    Charoite and Light Blue/Denim Lapis by the great Tad Kohara


    " I don't make the Cues,

    I just help make the Cues look better" - Alton Takata :laughing:


    Hercek Fer Side Inlay s.jpg

    Hrck Fer de  straight.jpg

    Hrck Fer de lis700.jpg

    TAD Blue Denum.jpg

  16. Stuff I Make - CNC Inlaying - Pocket Billiard Pool Cues - Exotic Stones


     I wanted to start doing inlays in my " CUE CAPS ". Cue CAPS is a name

    I made up in the early/mid 1990's.

    Cue Caps are, what the billiard industry call " Joint Protectors ".


    Joint Protectors screw on and over the exposed threaded screw and covers  the internally threaded hole in the upper "Shaft" section on the two piece billiard Pool cue.


    I bought a bench Top 4 Axis CNC Milling Machine and the CAD/ CAM

    Post Processing Software and started to learn how to do custom shape inlays to match high $$ Collectable, "Functional Art" Custom Pocket Billiard Pool Cues.


    I made some and showed them, and, collectors started to contact me and asked me if I could make a Crown Cue Cap Set to match their cues.

    I have to look at the Cue's design and materials and create the drawings/tool paths and bring all that to a "Machine Language" and then, in many machine processes, I create my Cue Caps.


    I got more Japanese Ceramic post that I wanted to post, but, I thought I'd take a break and show you these Cue Caps. 


    I will start showing you my favorite Caps that I made for collectors, these with Semi precious stones..  Today,  Turquoise :


    Perchauer Turquoise Paua Shell.jpg

    Pechauer 200 m.jpg

    Cognoscenti mm.jpg

  17. Japanese Tea Bowl - Mino Tea Bowl Damage


    I had to accept/keep  the broken Mino tea bowl because the cost for the return shipping and insurance would be too high and I would not be compensated for that. 

    But, if the returned box with the broken tea bowl was lost in the shipping, I would loss again.

    So, I just will have to take the lost.

    The seller told me that it was the shipper's fault, and, PayPal would not honor the Buyer protection if I had "Refused acceptance" even if I tell the carrier guy the box is smashed and can heat the pieces rattling inside. 

    Plus, the seller's wife would lose out too. And, she had nothing to do with the mailing.

    So, loser all the way. LOL   :laughing:


    This green on this tea bowl , and, the other Green tea bowl with the Plovers, have a tinge of blue in the greens. 

    The other green Mino bowls I bought form the seller had the greens as seen on most /other AO Oribe items..

    I have seem books refer "AO Oribe" as " BLUE Oribe". 


    I started gluing the cracked pieces together and will start adding in the gold filling in the cracks.


    I am not mad at the seller.

    Please do not spread this story around.

    The seller has a wife and maybe a family.

    This is just for our info.. 

    One of the reasons I do not want to post this in the main NMB

    sections..  :)

    Oribe Repair 003.jpg

    Oribe Repair 002.jpg

    Oribe Repair 001.jpg

  18. Japanese Tea Bowl - 400 Year Old Conclusion


    After reviewing all " confidence " the seller put in the Tea Bowl listings, I still do not think these are  " 400 year old Mino " bowls.

    For me, I bought them because these potters/makers made  bowls that I like.

    Actually, the seller had a nice selections of the kind of tea bowls I wanted at the time, and, under 150 dollars.

    Small price to pay for the maker's share and the seller's profit.

    That is why I am not worried about this being real " 400 year old bowls. "


    One thing happen, and, happen to this one  bowl I bought from him..

    The box was flimsy and the bowl was not well packed for a 400 year old tea bowl.

    Oh well....  LOL 


    Ao-Oribe Chawan of  Early Edo Period

    " Distorted 'shoe' shaped (Kutsugata) tea bowl with a rounded brim,  made of light, coarse, unrefined Mino clay.

    The expertly thrown body was trimmed with a potter's knife in its lower part and around the foot ring.

    This bowl was covered with a green copper oxide glaze.

    On one side a window left unglazed and covered with a thin transparent ash glaze under which hoshigaki (persimmons hanging from a roof in winter for drying) and some square devices to scare birds off (this is the most popular interpretation) were painted in iron oxide.

    The foot ring is in a shape frequently found on shards excavated at the Entogawa-kiln in Mino, active during the first quarter of the 17th century. "

    Tea Bowl Box xx.jpg

    Broken Tea Bowl.JPG

  19. Japanese TEA BOWLS - TL Testing of the Mino Tea Bowls


    TL testing would have sacrificed a few of the seller's tea bowls, and,

    several hundred dollars. Yet, the conclusions/findings was pointing toward 400 years old ( + or - ).

    I bought about 9 tea bowls from the seller, two under a 100 dollars and several about 150 dollars  each.  A couple about 240 each.


    Obviously, the pricing for these 400 year old Mino tea bowls seem to contradict all the "confidence" presented by the seller.. 


    The cost seem to be O.K. with  me, as, even though I'm sure

    these tea bowls are not 400 years old,

    I like the potters/makers style and designs.

    Also, the prices for the actual tea bowls were lower than the sold pricing  I paid, as, the seller added " his/her " percentage to make a profit. They have to make a living too.

    The seller's wife is Japanese (?), and, brings back teas bowls when she visits/travels back to Japan and back. I think it was via a P.M. to me.. 

    They / she must know the source of these tea bowls, as, I have seen other sellers that have similar tea bowls. One even bought form this seller.


    This  " 1620 " bowl was one of the more "expensive" tea bowls I bought from the seller .

    Here is the seller's description of the 400 year old tea bowl : 

    Nezumi-Shino Tea Bowl - Early Edo Period (about 1620)


    Little deformed cylinder (hazutsu) shaped,  in the style of shino ware - the bowl shows finger marks from throwing; foot ring and bottom have been cut with a potters knife.

    Typical for a Nezumi-Shino shino bowl, the light, unrefined Mino clay has been covered with an iron bearing engobe - with the exception of the bottom area.

    A geometric decoration of triangles on the wall has been incised into the engobe, over which the typical feldspatic shino glaze has been applied.

    The foot ring has a rather regular shape, with comb marks frequently seen on bowls from Motoyashiki kiln.


    V Shino Nizumi m.jpg

  20. The information in the CHUO EXPRESS Excavation page was about Jomon Period items. 

    I was hoping I could find more information/websites about any newer excavations that might be the bowls the seller has.


    I don't have enough/any Japanese knowledge on key words or phrases to use for the internet searches for newer Mino Bowl excavations.


    The ending part of the seller's bowl descriptions had this :


    " All four pieces I had TL-tested (Cost about $ 400 per piece) have confirmed an age about 400 yrs =/- 20%.  "


    I think he explained they were random from the batch of bowls he had..


    This is from one of many TL Testing  websites on the internet: 


    Accuracy of TL testing / dating
    Generally speaking, when a sample is drilled and there is no information available about the burial environment, one may expect +/- 25% uncertainty, and this is more than adequate for authentication where the question is whether the piece was fired in antiquity or recently. The latest computer technology supports and completes analysis.


    Link :

    https://artemistestinglab.com/#:~:text=The scientific technique of thermoluminescence (TL) is used,with a faint blue light%2C known as TL. 



  21. Japanese Tea Bowl - MINO


    Note: This is not a rant or complaint about the seller of these 

    " excavated" tea bowls " . 

    I am explaining the  several intriguing/fascinating explanations that  accompany the selling

    of his/her tea bowls. 


    I do have several more tea bowls bought form the seller.

    I will post them later in this series of postings about my experience.


    So, first off, I want to establish the seller's beautifully stated, some what romanticized  descriptions  of each tea bowl.

    I love his (or, who ever stated that ) description of each tea bowl.

    It somehow, establishes the seller has knowledge of Mino tea bowls.

    Secondly, Here is a statement that accompanies the description from the sellers postings :


    " Mino ceramics were produced for the Kyoto market.

    About 1630/40,  a change of fashion took place, resulting in an overproduction at the kilns.

    The merchandize was still warehoused at the kilns, but the Kyoto whole sellers did not buy anymore.

    This is also evidenced by a number of full warehouses excavated in Kyoto. 

    Over the years the kilns were covered by leaves and humus.


    Before the Tokyo Olympics an new highway was built trough the region (the Chuo Expressway), during the construction unknown kilns were unearthed but not scientifically recorded, because of time pressure.

    On the construction free weekends people (mostly farmers living nearby) went 'treasure hunting' and found truck loads of tea bowls mizusashi and other tea ceramics.

    Since about 1990 , these pieces appear in the market in Japan, as young people have little interest in tea ceremony or collecting anymore.

    Of course there are broken pieces, but many are unharmed and were well protected by the soft earth of the woods; after rinsing the them with water, they look like new ? even though many have discoloration from black soil at the unglazed areas.


    So, the first part, the seller, who has "knowledge" of Mino tea bowls, has  a explanation of how he acquired these 400 year old Mino tea bowls , the CHUO EXPERSSWAY EXCAVATION.


    I was searching the internet for information on the CHUO EXPRESSWAY EXCAVATIONS.

    There was only one article I found, but, it was during the 70's and 80's.  Not in the 1990's. 

    It also seems, that there were older ceramic pieces found. no mention of Edo period ceramics, unless, there was another "Excavation" later?  


    Here is a part of the CHUO EXPRESSWAY article


    It may sound odd to have a museum accessible from an expressway rest area, but there is a story behind it.  


    During the construction of the Chuo Expressway in the late 1970s/early 1980s, planners realized the expressway would run through the Shakado area (named for a local temple) known to contain historical ruins.  

    When the road builders started digging the road bed, the ruins were found to be quite extensive, with layers of important artifacts dating from 1,000 years ago to 20,000 years ago.

     It was decided to halt the road construction while the entire area was thoroughly excavated.


    To complete the excavation as quickly as possible, an army of diggers–more than 20,000 people–were employed, including professional archaeologists, local farmers and their families, university students, and anyone willing to help out.  

    The dig lasted from February 1980 to November 1981.

    Only after the excavation was completed was the expressway construction continued. "


    Here is the link: 



    Chuo Expressway.jpg

  22. Japanese TEA BOWL - MINO


    Another tea bowl I bought from the seller that has 400 year old "Oribe" style/type tea bowls.


    Note : Again, I do not think these bowls are 400 years old.

    I bought them because I like them.

    This is not a rant about the seller.

    It is more of the interesting accounts that occurred

    during the time I was buying these Mino tea bowls.


    The seller's description :


    Kuro-Oribe Chawan of  Early Edo Period  

    " Slightly distorted cylinder shaped (hanzutsu) tea bowl with a rounded brim,  made of light, coarse, unrefined Mino clay.

    The expertly thrown body was trimmed with a potter's knife in its lower part and around the foot ring.

    In the style of Seto -Kuro bowls the this bowl was covered with a glossy, light brown glaze.

    On one side a window was left unglazed and decorated with plants and grass in iron oxide under a clear ash glaze.

    The low foot ring and the bowl's cylindrical shape resembles a Seto-Kuro bowl.

    Next to the foot ring is an incised potters mark (kamajirushi) in form of a T.

    This mark is commonly affiliated with the Kyoto trader Shimbei and was frequently found on early 17th century (arround1620) pots of the Entogawa-kiln in Mino.
    The bowl is well balanced. "


    Next Post: The Chuo Express Excavations "

    Oribe 402 m.jpg

  23. Japanese TEA BOWL - MINO


    NOTE: This is one of my most intriguing  encounter with buying Japanese Ceramics.

    I am not mad at the seller, and, neither is this a "Rant" against him/her. I did like the Tea Bowls, and, I know/understand that it is the buyer's responsibility to know what he/she is buying.

    In 2021. "It's nobody's fault but my own " is a fact of life.



    I bought this Tea Bowl and this is the description from the seller :


    Ao-Oribe Chawan of  Early Edo Period


    " Only little distorted cylinder shaped (hansutsu) tea bowl with a rounded brim,  made of light, coarse, unrefined Mino clay.

    The expertly thrown body was trimmed with a potter's knife in its lower part and around the foot ring.

    This bowl was covered with a green copper oxide glaze.

    On one side a window left unglazed and covered with a thin transparent ash glaze under which two wheels of law, two plum bosoms and a Cricket (korogi) were painted in iron oxide.


    Inside  the foot ring is a kiln mark (kamajirushi) in the shape of a V, a mark frequently found on shards excavated at the Entogawa-kiln in Mino, active during the first quarter of the 17th century.
    The bowl is well balanced. "


    True (?), or just advertising , I did like the design and was willing to pay/bid on the Tea Bowl.


    The two ( half wheels ) Cartwheels partially submerged in water/stream, was called " Katawa-guruma " ( Wheels in Stream ? )


    The "V" in the foot ( Kodai ), might be a Merchant's mark.

    From the book, " SHINO AND ORIBE CERAMICS " by Ryoichi Fujioka :

    " Until the Meiji Period, these signs were considered to be the production marks of either the potter or the Kiln, and, in fact this long remained the popular view. "


    Remember the Shimbei "T" ? 

    This is another interesting topic to be discussed later..

    Oribe 650 m.jpg

  24. Just posting a "Gallery Presentation" of one of my Tea Bowls.

    I make my own "Gallery Presentations" using PHOTO IMPACT PRO,

    I still use the 8.1 version, because I only do simple Photo editing and



    I usually take my own photos of my items, but, if the seller's photos was large and focused, I would use those. My camera is old. 8.1 Mega pixels.. :doh:


    V Shino Nizumi 2 m.jpg

  25. Japanese Tea Bowl - Kitaoji Rosanjin


    A few years ago, there were many Ao Oribe style Rosanjin Tea bowls on e-bay.

    The prices were "Too good to be true"


    I did buy two ( one from Fujiyama Gallery and the Crab tea bowl from Chanoyu ) .

    I think both sellers names were Kentaro ?


    Tomobako / Hakogaki was to be someone's authentication.


    Gimei ? :doh: :wow:

    I still like the bowls, so, I did not mind paying what they asked. 

    " Buy the Chawan, not the mei "    :)


    There are other " Oribe" style Tea Bowls that were bought from e-bay that were or had "Too good to be true" descriptions.

    I will post about those soon..

    Kitaoji Rosanjin  m.jpg

    Oribe Rosanji II m.jpg

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