Ichikawa Toru (*1973)

Modern Iga Sake Cup with Gold Decoration

Inv. Nr. #20.007
Date Late Heisei period, ca. 2018
Material Glazed stoneware, gold
Dimensions H 5,5 x Diam. 7,3 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 and gathered in glass-like glaze drops on the horizontal lines. The unglazed parts show the bare iron oxide colored Iga clay that is additionally decorated with gold for a 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.