feature ⑥ revival of ao kutani

ao kutani style by Matsumoto Sakichi

Around 1889, the technique of red painting in the Nomi area reached the highest level, but on the other hand, the situation appeared that the crude products began to spread or red kutani were got tired of. Seeing such a situation, around 1893, Matsumoto Sahei was said to come up with a style of painting called “Shoun-do style” that fused both red kutani and ao kutani (kutani that used a lot of green on the surface). After that, some porcelain painters who longed for kutani like ko kutani and Yoshidaya kiln appeared. Matsumoto Sahei created a style of painting called “Matsuundo style”, which created an opportunity for ao kutani to appear. The first master craftsmen of ao kutani were Tokuda Yasokichi and Matsumoto Sakichi.

The features of Sahei’s “Shoun-do style” was that the design was drawn on the full surface of the body and the style made it more pictorial. He kept enough margins to draw the design on white body. Most of the designs were bird-and-flower drawn by colors (more colorful paints than kutani gosai), and not only the Japanese paints traditionally used in ao kutani, but also both Japanese and Western paints were used. Compared to the previous ao kutani, the glaze was thinner and the number of colors increased.

The first Tokuda Yasokichi, who was the brother-in-law of Matsumoto Sahei, learned painting from the Kano school painter Araki Tanrei, and porcelain painting from Sahei, and worked on reproducing the painting style of ko kutani and Yoshida-ya kiln. From a young age, he was enthusiastic about improving and creating glazes, then inventing his own glaze. The first Asakura Isokichi was one of his disciples.

The first Matsumoto Sakichi took over the painting factory “Shoun-do” when he was adopted by Sahei in 1908. On the hand, Sakichi created his ao kutani fully used kutani gosai (blue, yellow, dark blue, purple, red). He expressed the beauty of ao kutani and he was passionate about reproducing the patterns and colors of ko kutani and Yoshida-ya kiln. For this reason, the first Sakichi was later called the master craftsman of ao kutani. Reference: Matsumoto Sakichi、two pairs of gourd-shaped sake bottles.