Descended from a long line of potters, Wakao Toshisada(b. 1933) began working at his father's kiln as a young teenager. By day he assisted in his father's work, but in the evenings Wakao developed his own personal artistic style. He found the most success in a novel form of the traditional Shino ware, in which he incorporates delicate Rimpa school-style painting on the surface.The Shino technique dates back to the 16th century in Japan. The lore surrounding the style holds that one Japanese master traveled to China, and upon his return he tried to recreate the beautiful white porcelain he had seen there.While unsuccessful in his original goal, this master instead created what we now know as Shino. Wakao has transformed the Shino tradition by coming to his work as a painter would approach a canvas. Here, a sensitive different shades of grey Shino glaze provides the ground for a beautiful progression of flora. Like a Rimpa school scroll, this box displays the four seasons: morning glory for summer, Suzuki grass and bellflowers for autumn, winter plum blossoms, and the waxing moon for spring. The soft, rounded form and mix of shiny and matte surfaces enhance the delicate beauty of the box. Wakao's supreme artistry is certainly on display here-he has elevated the Shino style to a higher plane, and created a beautiful box fit for keeping one's own personal treasures and sheer enjoyment.
Nezumi Shino box Grey Shino box
H: 5.2 x W: 7.5 x L: 9.3 inches