earthenware with a crackled orange glaze
height 28 cm
In Japan, Seifu Yohei III was universally acclaimed the finest ceramic artist of his generation; in the West it was Kozan who was usually preferred. He was born in 1851, the second son of the Maruyama-school painter Okada Ryohei, entering the studio of the painter Tanomura Chokunyu (1814-1907) in 1866. He was then adopted by Seifu Yohei II (Gokei) and married Gokei’s sister. He became Seifu Yohei III on the death of Gokei in 1878. The first international exhibition to which he contributed was in Philadelphia in 1876. At the third National Industrial Exposition in 1890, he won the itto myogi shohai (first prize for technical excellence) for a water jug and a gourd-shaped jar, which were highly praised by the judges. He exhibited three pieces in Chicago in 1893, and was appointed Teishitsu Gigeiin (Artist to the Imperial Household) in the same year. He was awarded the Green Ribbon, another Imperial honour, in 1895.
J. Earle, Splendors of Imperial Japan: Arts of the Meiji period from the Khalili Collection, London 2002, cat. 325, p. 443.