Takemoto Relic

Takemoto is a legendary character in Japanese bonsai history. His exploits in the late 1800s paved way for shohin/mame bonsai. He was prolific in his short life utilizing the cast molding technique. This is a process where you pour liquid clay into a water absorbent mold. This technique makes it easier to construct difficult to create shapes with thin or thick walls. Alongside this industrious achievement he had tremendous skill at glazing. He made excellent monochromatic celadon, green, soba and porcelain white glazes. Some of his most desirable glazes include his unconventional special glaze effects. These include abstract application of glazes like the famous “Remaining Snow” pot. 


As seen above, this pot is a marvel. In Japan it is treasured as a cultural masterpiece. Hardcore Takemoto collectors are always on the lookout for these uniquely glazed pots. 


Above is another uniquely glazed and treasured Takemoto pot from the Miyoshi collection. The glaze has an ash celadon underglaze and whimsical splashes of pink webs. It does not look contrived and truly captures the essence of wabi-sabi. 


Here is a close-up of the pink glaze web. It rests beautifully on the signature Takemoto celadon ash glaze. 


The bottom of this pot has visible heavy patina, creating a warm earthy darkening on the clay surface. Let’s take a closer look at the clay. 


The clay has a gritty texture with a wonderful color. The quality of this clay is outstanding and simultaneously a mystery. Pouring casting slip with a gritty clay is not an easy feat and I’ve yet to see someone do this in the modern day. 


This is the Miyoshi 1958 bonsai pot collection book. He had a special fancy for unique Takemoto containers. 


The pot above is featured in Miyoshi’s 1958 book, you can see the octagon with pink glaze webs in excellent condition. Now in the Stephan collection it is cared for and preserved respectfully to carry on the pot’s legacy.


Above is another example of Takemoto’s radical glaze applications. This is a multi-layered glaze with a crawling underglaze. Crawling is normally seen as a glaze defect, but here it was used masterfully with impressive results. 


Thank you for reading and stay tuned for more to come!

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