Early life

Shigeru Fukuda also known as Bushuan was born in 1950 Japan in the Saitama prefecture. He grew up to become a competitive race car driver and was a top contender for over a decade. By 27 he became fascinated with bonsai. He initially loved Satsuki bonsai. Satsukis are also known as the Japanese Azaleas. They are renowned for their flowers and variety of colors that appear in May. Additional to his fascination with Satsuki was that of the bonsai pot. He became a collector of antique Chinese and Japanese pottery which gave him immense inspiration and appreciation for the bonsai container.

Pottery Career

By 1986 his inspiration gained momentum and he began construction of his own bonsai containers. Shigeru was self taught using his collected bowls as examples for his own creations. Obsessed with the creation of glazes and shapes he studied thoroughly and experimented until he found his style. He found that emulation of the climbing kiln was something he loved. The climbing kiln also known as “noborigama” is a wood firing technique that was more commonly used before World War 2. It was brought to Japan in the early 17th century and used to make outstanding ceramic ware. The problem was the noborigama polluted the air, was highly labor and resource (wood) intensive. The transition to the electric kilns was a natural move after World War 2 with changes in technology and new regulations. Shigeru recognized the beautiful ceramics these noborigama kilns created and sought to replicate it with the electric kiln. Shigeru was successful in his venture and his work gained momentum with his ability to recreate many glazes like cantonese green, oribe, chickenblood and even glazes reminiscent of the Heian Tofukuji temple. As his prestige grew, he opened the Fukuda Pottery studio. He has had over 50 students, and some have already made a name for themselves. Sharaku, an apprentice of Shigeru now has his own studio in Saitama. It is rumored that Shigeru Fukuda, currently 70 years of age, is now semi-retired. Currently his works are still abundant, but with time this will change with an eventual halt in production. 

Translations are Copyright (2/24/2021) by (Paul Stephan)

Reference material: 盆器大図鑑盆栽鉢の集大成