Ishiguro Koko - Sumida gawa ceramic bowl

Polychrome Sumida-gawa ceramic bowl made from sandstone, also called Sumida-yaki. Some parts are glazed. Original decoration of an old man trying to climb the bowl.

Mark of Ishiguro Koko (石黒香香): 香二, Koko. The 二 marks the repetition of a character in traditional Chinese. His name can also be written 香々 or 香二).  His real name was Ishiga Gôzô (石田郷三). He is a potter of the early Meiji era. He is a part of the first generation with Inoue Ryosai of the Sumida gawa pottiers in Asakusa, a district in the east of Tokyo. Then, he moved to Kameido not far from Asakusa as an independent potter. He exhibited his ceramics at the 1901 Tokyo National Ceramic Exhibition and the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis.

Sumida-yaki ceramics takes its name from the Sumida River (Sumida gawa), near which it was created by Inoue Ryosai I (1828-1899) in 1875. He and the wealthy merchant Shimada Sobei built a kiln in the Hashiba district of Asakusa, in present-day Tokyo. The production of the Inoue family spans three generations: Inoue Ryosai I (1828-?), Inoue Ryosai II (around 1860-?) and Inoue Ryosai III (1880-1971). Alongside them, two other ceramists are also famous: Ishiguro Koko and Hara Yashiyama.
The ceramics are characterized by stoneware of rather heavy aspect, a very shiny glaze and most of the time, applied decorations in relief. It is decorated using the taka-uki-bori (“high relief carving”) technique which consists of gluing shapes onto the porcelain. The glaze is then poured over the top, which gives the ceramics great vitality and freedom.
It was mainly exported to the West from the end of the 19th century to the 1920s from the port of Yokohama; and was mainly distributed in the United States through the A. A. Vantine’s & Co. store, located on 5th Avenue in New-York and specialized in oriental and Far Eastern objects.

Ishiguro Koko 石黒香香 (ca. second half of the 19th – first half of the 20e century)
Japan, Tokyo – Meiji era (1868-1912), ca. 1900
Height: 4 in. (10 cm) – diameter: 5.5 in. (14.5 cm)