Tsukigata Nahiko

Tsukigata Nahiko (1923-2006) is immediately recognizable for his scale and extreme surfaces. A kind od artist and quite reserved, introspective and on a spiritual journey to enlightenment of mind and work. In Life accomplished shakuhachi player, calligrapher, oil painter and sculptor of which many of his bronzes were cast in editions. Tsukigata studied and worked with Arakawa Toyozo and inherited a certain amount of his style, technology and firing methods. After working with Arakawa, Tsukigata began to experiment with styles and firing methodology. He worked in Ko-Shino, Shino, Nezumi-Shino, Aka-Shino,Ki-Seto, Kohiki, Hagi and even Shigaraki. Then he coined the now famous term, Oni-Shino and also Oni-Iga to describe his new work. His Oni-Shino works are raw power and present a landscape, unseen in Japanese pottery before his "creation". 

From a series of hardships and difficulties, white for the first time burnt a Japanese pottery by creating Shino ware. According to tradition, this type of technique, thanks to some artists, has shocked the world of ceramics. Nahiko, was one of the artists who built his own artistic universe, bringing at the same time the traditional art and culture of Momoyama to the modern point of view. Over the years Nahiko has lit Violently the flame so extremely that it gave a shock to the 20th century world of ceramics. In 1941, after the High School in Nagaoka in the Niigata Prefecture, he joined the student mobilization while studying at Waseda University. He volunteered to join the Second World War. Former army as a technical officer, after the war he returned to school and graduated from the Nihon University College of Art.

Tsukigata Nahiko
Tsukigata Nahiko

Reading a "Blog Poem" called "Eccentric Shino" posted by Craig Bird around 2010, while reading is it true that if u you look over the past the Momoyama tradition is very important with his infinite styles and glaze types. Theres so many pioneers that my knowledge can't help because i am a beginner for this world.. Within the modern Shino fold, Mr. Bird talk about two potters who stand out as innovators and eccentrics: Tsukigata Nahiko (1923-2006) and Kumano Kuroemon, the bear of Echizen. 

An important passage really improve a great description:

"Kumano's pots are bold, hard fired and mostly oburi in nature and he uses what he calls Kumano-Shino and Matsuzaka-Shino (after a type of feldspar he uses) on his pots and they are then fired intensely in his anagama at nearly 1500 degrees Celsius. Kumano's works are immediately recognizable for their scale and extreme surfaces. His Shino works are iron glazes fired in an anagama to cover and activate the glazes with the deposit and build up of natural ash glaze circulating in the kiln. Tsukigata fires his kiln to a very high temperature and through the use of different types of wood, he is able to build up ash on his pots that fuses, like glass over the course of the firing. The results are wondrous. The approach to wood firing Shino is a pathway of dedication. Since the 1950's many potters have chosen to gas fire as a means of control, repeatability and expediency. The choice of the anagama and all of its variables makes each pot unique because of the process. 

For Oni-Shino, there can be no short-cuts. Through wood firing his pots, Tsukigata made sure the each pot would have a differing story, a narrative, ensnaring the viewer with a tale of the intensity of the potter, process and the fire. His works though all related through the potter, clay and process, stand alone as a statement in which the past and present collide through the violence and velocity of flame. As you study Tsukigata's pots, you can see the strength of potting, the quality of the clay, his attention to detail, the Shino and iron glazes over run by ash deposited during the firing. But as you look closer, you can see the furrows cut through the Shino glaze, like tamadare runs, by the ash built up like molten lava and running down the surfaces of the pottery. Within the running ash and areas of built up ash, there is a myriad of pattern; matsukawa-ji (pine bark ground) and chirimen-ji (crepe silk ground) spring to mind. There is much to see in his work with a dialogue that stirs the imagination."

(* an excerpt from a Blog called "Eccentric Shino" Posted by Craig Bird 29 October Friday 2010


"The potter master of flame" the "Oriental Picasso"..

"The ONISHINO when considered from the ceramic technical point of view, is the one in which the fusing effects of iron ingredients, namely, the iron in the clay, the iron in the feldspar glaze and that in the flames, are ingeniously vivified on the Shino ware. These three factors bring out the variety of different finishes." *

Width 10.5 × 13 height 14.8 degree.This striking INCENSE BURNER is a fine example of bronze plated that Tsukigata is so well-known for. Coining the term in the mid-50's after countless failed experiments-which ultimately culminated in the discovery of this unique style of pottery-"Oni" translates roughly to demon or ogre. Fired at extreme temperatures for days in an anagama, the iron in the clay and in the glaze fuse, drip, and coalesce-while at the same time blending with the molten ash of the kiln to produce an incredible almost primordial landscape on his works surface.This piece of art totally far from his bowls displays several unique and interesting features including areas of bronze and metallic flecks showing through the top layer of glaze along with snowflake fractal patterns along areas of the inside and outer rim. Even in a field so ripe with memorable personalities, Tsukigata Nahiko (1923 - 2006) is considered an eccentric figure in the world of Japanese pottery. Like many of the greats, he was a multi-talented artist-accomplished in the pursuit of calligraphy, oil painting, sculpting, and his greatest love, the Shakuhachi. Unfortunately, his artistic pursuits were cut short during the war when he was drafted into the army to fight in WWII. After being released from service, he spent a number of years traveling the countryside playing the Shakuhachi, then working for a ballet school, and for a time practicing as a reclusive Zen priest at Myoanji temple. Finally, his creative spirit was rekindled by the fire of the potter's kiln and this became his life's calling. From the 1930s onward, there was a big push initiated by Arakawa Toyozo to resurrect the ancient art of Shino ceramics which had been lost for hundreds of years. In 1953, Tsukigata set up a kiln nearby Arakawa's studio and, with some assistance and mentoring from the great artist, began producing works of Ko-Shino, Shino, Nezumi-Shino, and Aka-Shino. Finally Tsukigata settled on his unique style he called "Oni" Shino and began creating small batches of chawan, tsubo, hanaire, tokkuri, guinomi, and yunomi along with other miscellaneous pieces. Today these works are highly prized both domestically and abroad and should be considered a must-have addition to any comprehensive collection of Japanese ceramics. This piece It is in excellent condition and bears the artist's signature on the base. It comes full of beauty!!!!

【 自然 】nature; spontaneity われわれは自然の法則に従う。  We are subject to the laws of nature.
【 自然 】nature; spontaneity われわれは自然の法則に従う。 We are subject to the laws of nature.

The founder of Onishino

Born to a father who was a stone sculptor, and a mother who was a flower arranger, Nahiko's artistic sensibilities were nurtured from a young age. After graduating university, he encountered the pottery of Toyozo Arakawa, and was profoundly moved. This inspired him to recreate ancient Momoyama period kilns in Ooya, Gifu Prefecture (The Kiln of Heaven, The Kiln of Earth) and begin making ceramics. He also built kilns at Gotomaki Pass (The Kiln of Heart, The Kiln of Man), with 4 in existence. 
From the beginning he presented mainly solo exhibitions, with over 200 domestic exhibitions held to date, chiefly in major cities, and also overseas at the first and second Paris Onishino Exhibitions in 1988-89, where he received a favorable reception. 
Through his devotion to the craft, he developed a method of firing works over longer periods than Shino ceramics, and shocked the international ceramics world when he presented the creation of Onishino. 
He developed his highly creative vision of Onishino further with a harmony of bold molding and thick glazing that almost seems to swell with life force, and in recent years revealed a new artistic world by introducing elements such as gold leafing and Rimpa expression. 
Also, in addition to ceramics, he has gained a high reputation for presenting a unique artistic vision in other media, such as writing, painting, and copperplate engraving. He died on August 16th.

- the highest appraised market value of art was over 6,000,000 JPY. (chano-yu.com)

  • Tsukigata Daitobo Museum: AM10時~PM3時30分 【毎週月曜日 年末年始 祝日の翌日(作品展示替の為、臨時休館あり。 団体様は事前確認の事)】
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This "ONISHINO" art museum was built in 1974. It was built to commemorate of 25th anniversary creative art activities Nahiko tsukigata,by 1974. This museum "onishino potter" Nahiko tsukigata's(1923-2006) ANAGAMA art studio wood-fired pottery,his work Biggest exhibition museum. 
" This museum the onishino-art in the world by real nahiko tsukigata. onishino is not dead! Hyper High- fired ONISHINO potery is very shocking pottery. very interesting new traditionnal SHINO-yaki (SHINO-yaki=traditionnal pottery,from mino,japan) world. It's a Wonderful onishino-pottery world." so nahiko is say.

This area is located in (Toki city and Kani city) is among the ruins of the group of ancient pottery kilns of the Momoyama Period(1574-1602) .
Ancient times(Momoyama period) SHINO ware were produced in large quantity place. The village of "Mino-yaki" Pottery of Gifu-prefecture Toki city,Kani city,& Tajimi city. it's gifu southeast area. Ogaya place is the place where Mr.Toyozo Arakawa successfully restored the art of SHINO glazing as a modern pottery art,and for this great work,he was awarded an Order of Cultural Merits,and it is also the Mecca of SHINO where "ESHINO CHAWAN"(art decorated SHINO tea cup)designated as a National Treasure was produced.
Regards,Tsukigata daitoubo museum of art,Japan,Mino Toki-city

A special thanks to Akehiko Tsukigata