Shirokouchi (white Cochin)

Many cochin pieces were imported to Japan from Southern areas of China. Pieces were also made in Yixing(especially white, green and yellow cochin). Cochin ware was created during the tail end of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) to the Qing dynasty (1644-1912). Shirokouchi (white cochin) is a type of cochin ware. There is also ao-kouchi (green) and ki-kouchi (yellow). There are many famous Shirokouchi kowatari pieces.  

Cochin ware is primarily sansai pottery. Sansai pottery refers to pottery created using a low heat firing technique. This technique was first developed in China during the T’ang dynasty. Cochin ware was imported to Japan as far back as the early Momoyama-Edo period (1590-1610). The Shogun of the time authorized trading vessels to bring in pottery from this region of southern China called cochin which is the region currently known as Vietnam. The cochin ware low heat firing technique was foundational for the development of different Kyoto pottery techniques like Raku ware.

Most of the bonsai pots that are identified as Cochin are from the Yixing region of China. Many of these works were fired at lower temperatures with lead-based glazes. The most common cochin glaze type is the white colored “white cochin ware” with a pale yellowish white color. Generally, cochin ware pieces have thickly layered glazes (especially white cochin) because of the technique that involves multiple applications of glaze. Also, low heat fired cochin ware has been said to patina faster.

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

Reference material:

盆器大図鑑3 |盆栽鉢の集大成