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Tea bowl

Tea bowl

  • Place of origin:

    Mashiko (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1977 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Shimaoka Tatsuzo, born 1919 - died 2007 (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Stoneware, thrown, with slip-filled, rope-impressed decoration under a clear glaze

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Ceramics, Room 142, The Lydia and Manfred Gorvy Gallery, case 3, shelf 2

Shimaoka Tatsuzo (1919-2007) was the leading disciple and student of Hamada Shoji (1894-1978), whom he succeeded as the pre-eminent potter of Mashiko, the ceramic-producing town northeast of Tokyo which Hamada made his home in 1924 on his return from having helped Bernard Leach (1887-1979) establish the Leach Pottery in St Ives, Cornwall. Shimaoka, like Hamada before him, was well known outside Japan as well as within, and in 1996 was appointed a Living National Treasure by the Japanese government.

The hallmark of Shimaoka's work was his use of rope-impressed patterning. While this was partly a result of his father having been a rope-maker, it was more to do with the fact that the area of Japan in which Mashiko is situated is home to numerous prehistoric sites once occupied by the Jomon (lit. 'cord pattern') people, whose name is derived from the rich variety of earthenwares decorated with rope-impressed patterns that was a key characteristic of their culture.

Physical description

Bowl of upright form with narrow, raised band around slightly constricted waist; clear glaze over a diagonally striated pattern on the exterior achieved by pressing the still soft clay with a length of rope wound around a wooden stick and filling the resulting impressions by brushing on white slip and then, once it has hardened, scraping it away so that the slip shows white against the darker colour of the clay body

Place of Origin

Mashiko (made)


ca. 1977 (made)


Shimaoka Tatsuzo, born 1919 - died 2007 (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Stoneware, thrown, with slip-filled, rope-impressed decoration under a clear glaze

Marks and inscriptions

Incised potter's mark above foot.


Height: 10.6 cm, Width: 12.3 cm

Descriptive line

Tea bowl, stoneware with rope-impressed decoration under a clear glaze, made by Shimaoka Tatsuzo in Mashiko, Japan, ca. 1977.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Biographical reference: 'Japanese Ceramics Today', V & A (1983), p.128: Gisela Jahn and Anette Petersen-Brandhorst, 'Erde und Feuer', Deutsches Museum (munich, 1984), pp.229 - 231

Labels and date

Stoneware with rope-impressed decoration under a clear glaze
By Shimaoka Tatsuzo
JAPANESE; c.1977
FE.40-1978 []


Stoneware; Slip; Glaze


Glazed; Thrown; Rope-impressed


Studio Pottery; Stoneware; Ceramics


East Asia Collection

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