Ichikawa Toru (*1973)

Modern Iga Sake Cup with Glaze Drop

Inv. Nr. #20.004
Date Late Heisei period, ca. 2018
Material Glazed stoneware, gold
Dimensions H 5,8 x Diam. 6,5 cm

Comes with fitted, signed and sealed wooden box.

Modern Iga style sake cup (guinomi) by ceramic artist Ichikawa Toru. Toru, born 1973 in Tōkyō, is a sculptor, who decided to become an apprentice to famous Bizen potter Kakurezaki Ryūichi (*1953) between 2011-2015. Kakurezaki's influence on Toru's work becomes especially clear when considering the form of his sake cup. The bold, rock-like shape, rests on a flat base. The vessel's wall is half cut half pulled and shaped with a knife. The rough Iga clay has a cracked surface in which the molten green glaze found its way. However, this works highlight is a stunning, large single glaze drop that sits on one of the six angles of the hexagonally shaped body. Some parts between the glaze show the bare iron oxide colored clay, some are additionally decorated with leaf gold, which gives the work a very modern twist.


Toru is working freely between modernity and tradition, using old materials and combining them liberally in a new way. By shattering the boundaries of traditional Japanese pottery techniques, he is creating a rich landscape and give his objects a sculpture like appearance. By doing so, he is also questioning the already thin line between arts and crafts in Japanese pottery in a new interesting way.