Sugimoto Sadamitsu (*1935)

Iga Flower Vase with Handles

Inv. Nr. #20.020
Date Shōwa period, 1980s
Material Ash glazed stoneware
Dimensions H 26  x Diam. circa 13 cm

Comes with inscribed, signed and sealed wooden box.

Price: EUR 5,000

An impressive Iga flower vase with attached handles (mimizuki hanaire) by Sugimoto Sadamitsu. Sugimoto was born 1935 in Tōkyō and is a self-taught, highly admired master of Iga and Shigaraki pottery. He built his own anagama kiln in Shigaraki in 1968. Along his research and study of old Shigaraki and Iga ware, he became interested in Zen Buddhism and has been a disciple of Tachibana Daiki (1899-2005, 511th Daitoku-ji head monk and president of Hanazono University) since 1974. Over the years, his rigorous training in Zen infused his pottery works with the power of a liberal and unsophisticated spirit, making him one of the best Iga potters of our time. Focusing mainly on traditional tea ware, Sugimoto's works were shown, for instance, on an exhibition to commemorate the 400th anniversary of tea master Sen no Rikyū in 1989. It is noteworthy that some of his works were also selected in the same year for a movie about Sen no Rikyū by Teshigahara Hiroshi, through which he additionally gained large recognition.


His flower vase bears the old taste of Momoyama Iga ware. The rough surface is almost completely covered by heavy ash glaze. The vessel's shape is coarse and freely decorated with some horizontal scratch markings. Its tilted appearance, however, is perfectly calculated by the potter so that the vase's front is slightly leaning towards the observer – as if it is gently greeting and presenting the flower arrangement to him. The glaze's encrustations on the foot and the vertical direction of the glaze let us understand that the vase was laying on the side during the firing. This technique, called korogashi or 'knocked-over', in Japanese is a is a risky way to bring the most spectacular glaze effects into life, but could also force the object to be destroyed while fired. Sugimoto mastered this technique and his work shows a fantastic lively landscape of blackened and browned ash that is accompanied by glassy green ash glaze, which pools and drips on the surface of the vessel.


The vase is signed with the potter's mark on the inside wall.