Kaneshige Makoto 金重愫 (*1945)

Bizen Fresh Water Jar with Arrow-notch Type Mouth

Inv. Nr. #19.024
Date Heisei period (1989-2019)
Material Ash glazed stoneware
Dimensions H 19  x Diam. 22 cm

Comes with fitted signed and sealed wooden box and original exhibition slip from the Mitsukoshi department store.

Price: EUR 6,500

Excellent Bizen freshwater jar (mizusashi) with an arrow-notch type mouth (yahazu-guchi) by Kaneshige Makoto. The conical body rests on a smaller, flat base, and the rim of the mouth is larger than usual. On the front is a botamochi reserve pattern in bright orange. The entire body is covered with a fine textured greenish-brown ash glaze. The upper rim is slightly warped and glazed with a dramatic ash glaze that has crystallized into gray and black running glaze drops turning this piece into an impressive sculptural work. Loosely fitting lid with curved knob. Signed with potter's mark on the bottom. Comes with a signed and sealed wooden box, inscribed by Makoto: Bizen yahazu-guchi mizusashi, Enzan-gama, Makoto. Stamped: Makoto. This piece was part of a solo exhibition at the Mitsukoshi department store. Original exhibition label included.


Kaneshige Makoto was born in 1945 in Inbe, Okayama, as the first son of one of the traditional Bizen pottery families. With Kaneshige Sozan as his father and Kaneshige Tōyō as his uncle, he grew up with two of the most important Japanese potters of the 20th century. Perhaps because of this, he did not decide to become a potter himself, but instead began studying agricultural sciences at Kyōto University in 1964. It was not until 1968, when he saw some of his father's ceramics at an exhibition in Tōkyō, that he decided to become his father's apprentice. After ten years of working in his father's workshop, he exhibited his own work to the public for the first time in 1979 at a gallery in Okayama. In 1982, his father built a new kiln in Inbe and Makoto became an independent potter by taking over the old workshop called Enzan-gama.


Although Makoto has tried to distance himself from the institutionalized world of Japanese ceramics, he is recognized as one of the most outstanding contemporary Bizen potters, and perhaps one of the purest: Firing twice a year in his three-chambered Nobori-gama, he prepares his clay all by himself, without the aid of machines, using only the strength of his own hands and feet. As a result, his work has a particularly fine texture and sculptural quality, and is praised by young people for its modern features.



- Elmar Weinmayr: Kaneshige Makoto, in: Kaneshige Sozan, Kaneshige Makoto, Kaneshige Yuhō. Keramik, Verlag Fred Jahn, München 1992, p. 45-54.

- Gendai chatō taikan [Overview over the Contemporary Tea Ceramic], Vol. 3, 1979, p. 36-37, 156.


Die Neue Sammlung - Staatliches Museum für Angewandte Kunst, München
Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minnesota

Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven