Ichiyo Sansyu

Ichiyo’s real name is Kamiya Koichi. He was born on the 35th year of the Meji era (1902) and passed away in 1985. His birthplace was in the Aichi prefecture of Takahama city (Takahama city used to be called Mikawa). Kamiya worked with his father from a young age in a wholesale pottery business. By age 24 he was able to create his own bonsai pottery shop called “Sansuya Shintoku Shoten”. This shop was in the Ebisu area of Tokyo. Kamiya dared to be different and pushed forward the progression of Japanese bonsai pottery. His view was asking the question, “Can you call bonsai a national artform if people are using Chinese pots for their bonsai trees?” He thought this was inappropriate and thus the importance and motivation for developing quality Japanese bonsai pots. Kamiya alongside his entrepreneurship was an avid researcher, he travelled to kilns across Japan to learn as many pottery techniques and styles as possible. His experimental studio/kiln in Mikawa eventually faced financial trouble, but by miracle he was able to get a 5-year interest free loan in 1931. During this pre-war period Kamiya created outstanding works and some masterpieces. His talent became comparable to the great Chotaro Uematsu. In 1937 with the intensification of the Second Sino-Japanese war with China he switched his craft from pottery to the industry of machinery and precision instruments. Then came World War 2, a dark time in Japan’s history. Years after the great war (1965) he switched back to his love of pottery. During this period Kamiya was more of a hobbyist and his output was not the same as pre-war times. Alongside his love of pottery, he encouraged and coached upcoming artists and left a strong mark on the Japanese bonsai community.

This is a pre world war 2 pot by Ichiyo. Green/blue glaze with patina that has accumulated for decades. 

Ichiyo has several different chop marks, but this is a pretty common one to see.