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備前酒呑 W6.3cm D6.3cm H5.4cm

Toushuu Yamamoto


Born in Ibe,Bizen,Okayama as a second son between Genjirou and Kimi who were famers
Became an apprentice in "Kibidou" which was the biggest pottery in Ibe at the time
Moved to a pottery "Toukeidou", made vases and flower vase works
Established own pottery workshop in Ibe and got independent
Studied under Yaichi Kusube
Authorised as a technical protector of Bizen-ware
Designated as "the important intangible cultural property of Okayama"
Won the prize for the first time at the second Japan traditional crafts exhibition by "Bizen Tabi Makura vase"
Won a Gold Prize at the World Expo in Brussels by "Hikon ohbachi"
Became a official member of Japan traditional crafts group
Acknowledged as a director of the Japan Industrial Art Institution
Received the Merit of Culture from Okayama Prefecture
Received the Medal with Purple Ribbon
Donated "Nagare Goma Sanpou vase"(Triangular Flower Vase with Cascading Goma) to Ise shrine
Offered "the flower vase" to Spanish king Juan Carlos I and Queen Sophia
Received the Medal with Dark Blue Ribbon
Designated as a Preserver of Important Intangible Cultural Treasure of Japan (Living National Treasure)
Designated as a Honorable citizen of Bizen City
Died of pneumonia (Aged 87)

In 1906, Toushuu Yamamoto (Masao) was born in Ibe-bu , Ibe-chou ,Waki-gun,Okayama as the second son between Genjirou Yamamoto and Kimi who were farmers. When he was graduated from primary school, at the age of 16, he started to work as an apprentice at the biggest pottery "Kibidou. It is said that he had been making "Yunomi" by rolling pottery wheel day by day. At the age of 17, moving to "Toukeidou" in Ibe, he started to create authentic pottery while learning techniques of tea ceramics and precise decorating. He had improved as much as he was called "a master of pottery wheel " when he got independent at the age of 27.

In 1993, he established own pottery and he finally got independent. Toushuu, who started to deepen his own world, bought "The directory of ceramic masterpieces in Taishou era" edited by Souan Takahashi aimed to make tea ceramics desired by tea person. It was a big catalog introducing famous tea goods (tea bowl and tea jar) in photos, it was totally 9 editing and 13 books. Although it was the neat and newest learning stuff having been published for 7 years since 1919,it costed same as a car at the time. He was researching loads of masterpieces by leading it that was extremely high price and full of information. Also, he studied a glaze under a pottery, Yaichi Kusube at the same time. We could see his silent ambition that he wanted something rather than inheriting the tradition of Bizen-ware.

The work he aimed to create was a Bizen-ware in Azuchi-Momoyama era called "Momoyama Bizen". Its another name is "old-Bizen" regarded the best one among Bizen-ware. In the line, there were Touyou Kondou and Kei Fujiwara, they would have been called "top three specialists of Bizen" later. Toushuu had set his own way while he was influenced by the gorgeousness of Kaneshige and the dynamism of Fujiwara. Toushuu understood that when he combined his neat and noble style with "old- Bizen" which had fully rustic charm, his original style would be completed. It continually had been proved by his collections of tea ceramics,they became to be highly applauded in both of Japan and overseas. No one knows when, but he had became called "Toushuu of tea ceramics".

One of his major work,"The case of tea leaves ",it is said that we could see the characteristic of Toushuu,the master of pottery wheel,very well because it demands extremely high skills and it is impossible to create it without natural dexterity. He said, "The case of tea leaves seemed my everything" in his book, he recognized his intensity. In 1987,he was designated as a Preserver of Important Intangible Cultural Treasure of Japan (Living National Treasure) acclaimed by the high skills of "Toushuu of tea ceramics" and his dedication to Bizen-ware. Toushuu was 80 years old at the time.