We were changing out a few items for display in the house – we decided at the first of the year we would only show bonsai pots for January – and we pulled out a couple of Bunzan pots to display.
So what do you think about his pots? He certainly uses a great deal of color. When we first saw them in 2007 many thought who would ever use them but since then we have seem them at shows in Japan.
Bunzan is the artist name for Kaoru Ito who was born on May 10, 1949. He uses clay from Echizen and Shigaraki and blends them together to formulate his own blend of clay. He apparently doesn’t use molds and forms the pots with his hands. In recent years, most of the pots carrying his artist mark are from his students. If there are two marks then it was likely made by his hands.
With many of his pots they have to be viewed this way in order to admire his use of glazes. He seems to be influenced by Toufukuji but my only evidence of this is through our own observations.
The following photographs are from within our green house where we used a number of his pots for accent plants. We truly enjoy his use of color. Many of his pots are round with the scalloped edge, so we attempted to purchase as many of them as we could that were not in that shape.
E Bunzan is one of my top ten favourites. I only have twenty Bunzan pots. I can’t get enough of that glaze!! Nice post. Thanks.
I really like the two in the middle that are made by Bunzan himself, any more pictures of those? Thanks for posting, really like Bunzan containers
Unto themselves they are nice to look at as decorative pieces. In my opinion they overpower the living tree instead of complement. Nice candy dishes.
Sam Edge said:
We are almost always happy to have comments even when they are like yours and we disagree. You are correct in the sense that any pot wrongly used can overpower a tree or simply not show the tree in it’s best possible light. In the same way a Bunzan and its colorful glaze paired with the wrong tree can produce a less than pleasing result, the same can be said if we pair a new pot with a very old tree.
What we would say is that Bunzan’s pots are being appreciated and used – just review the last two Kokufu Show books – in highly prestigious bonsai shows in Japan. The key for them, and any pot, is to match the living object to the container and not have the container outshine what is being held. In this respect we agree with your viewpoint.
To relegate them to decorative pieces, in our opinion, however reflects a closed mind regardless if it is intentional or not on your part. We do appreciate you reading our blog and commenting as we hope that you also appreciate our perspective even though it disagrees with yours.
Sam and KJ