4974 Ito Tozan II (1871-1937)
A lozenge shaped ceramic vessel each side formed to resemble a brushwood fence
Impressed seal mark: Tozan
Japan 20th century Meiji/Taishō period
Dimension: H. 13½” (34.4cm)
Tomobako (original box) inscribed:
Lid: Shiba no ki kabin. Tozan zo (Shrubs flower vase. Made by Tozan)
Ito Tozan II (1871-1937). Given name: Shinsuke was the fourth son of Hisakuni Honda (dates unknown) whose family served as advisors of the Zeze domain.
Zeze domain was famous for its pottery known as Zezeyaki. Its kiln was established at the beginning of the 17th century under the patronage of the feudal lord and influential tea master Kobori Enshu (1579-1647). Zezeyaki has a blackish brown iron glaze and the tea ceremony utensils were much appreciated among other feudal lords and the kiln enjoyed many years of success before closing at the end of the same century due to financial issues.
Shinsuke married the daughter of Ito Tozan I and upon joining this illustrious family of potters, took his new name Ito Tozan II. Having previously studied nihonga (Japanese style painting) his innovative motifs added an elegant and artistic flair to his pottery. Along with his stepfather and other artists such as Shunkyo Yamamoto (1872-1933), they re-established the Zeze pottery studio and named it Zeze Kagerōen (The shimmering garden of Zeze).