Tribute to Tokuda Yasokichi III

(1933 - 2009)

August 26, 2009

Round plate with dark blue, emerald green, turquoise and yellow Kutani glazes
ca. 1997
Porcelain with suffusion of Kutani glaze
1 7/8 x 15 1/2 inches
Private Collection, MA

Blue globular vase with infused blue and yellow and a protruded mouth
2003
Porcelain with a suffusion of Kutani color glaze
10 1/8 x 9 1/4 inches
Private Collection, MD

Shinkô Yôsai: Kyûryô tsubo; Brilliant glazes: Nine-sided Vase
2005
Porcelain with suffusion of deep brilliant kutani glazes
9 1/4 x 8 3/4 inches
Private Collection, NY

Press Release

It is with a heavy heart that we note that ceramic artist Tokuda Yasokichi III, designated a National Living Treasure (NLT) in 1997, succumbed to pneumonia on August 26th at the age of 75.

Celebrated for his bright and luminous suffused Kutani glazes on very simple forms, Tokuda's work is instantly recognizable. After first working with his father and grandfather, also a NLT, on the creation of traditional Kutani ware, Yasokichi III broke from this lofty tradition, developing his unique approach that enabled him to control the suffusion of Kutani color glazes. Applied to elegant yet simple porcelain bodies, his glazes change color and hue—from deep blue to purple to peacock blue to emerald green and mustard yellow––creating an unforgettable starburst effect. His works grace museum collections throughout the world.