CHIKUSEN Miura Chikusen (1854 - 1915)
There are several generations
of the potersfamily Chikusen, of which the first Miura Chikusen, working in Meiji period, is in this context the most important. It must be seid that also the later generations Chikusen were very skillful potters. The Chikusen kiln probably still exists, untill
recent under the leadership of the fifth generation of Chikusen.
Miura Chikusen was born in 1854 as Watanabe Masakichi, as the second son of Watanabe Ihei,who owned “Kazuyasu-dô” a tea store in Kyoto. In 1867, when he was 13 year old,
he became a student of Takahashi Dôhachi III (1811-1879). In 1883 he opened his own kiln at Gojozaka in Kyoto.
In his early years he became known for his celadon ware, using different types of glazing and later on for applying various western
techniques and colors on Japanese porcelain. Chikusen developed a transparent glazing called Yuyaku-Tomeimon and started in 1904 to insert jade and other semiprecious stone as well as coral for decoration on Sometsuke porcelain. He received great
reception at the Chicago and Paris Expositions. He is seen as one of the most important representatives of e- gorai, a pottery style strongly derived from the pottery developed in the Cizhou kilns in China during the early Ming period. It was later widely
copied in Korea and introduced in Japan at the end of the 16th century. It is characterized by a decoration that is usually applied with a dark iron-oxide on a white or light brown slip.
Miura Chikusen I was an exceptionally skilled potter
who specialized in Kiyomizu-yaki and Kyo-yaki high-quality porcelains used in sencha tea ceremony. In this genre, he is one of the most important artists in the country and his porcelain was considered to be of the highest level throughout the Meiji
era, which is still highly appreciated among tea lovers today. Chikusen was in Meiji time a well known figure in artistic Kyoto. Besides of an exceptionally skilled potter, he also was an accomplished painter, poet, and calligraphist. In 1903 he published
the ‘T’ao Shuo’, (Wakan Taisho Tosetsu), a Japanese Chinese Comparison Ceramic Study.
Chikusen died in 1915, after handing over his kiln to his son Chikusen Miura II (1882-1918). Chikusen II was succeeded
after his death by his younger brother Chikusen Miura III (1900-90) who was to lead the family kiln to 1934. He handed the kiln over to his nephew, Chikusen II's son, who had reached the age of majority and became the fourth generation
Chikusen Miura IV (1911-1976). Chikusen III himself then opened his own kiln and continued under the name Chikken, specializing in the traditional Kenzan-Ninsei styles. Chikken Miura gained great fame for his exceptional technique and won
Chikusen IV handed the kiln over in 1972 to his eldest son, Chikusen V (born in 1934) who is the fifth and according to our information the last generation of the Chikusen dynasty.