MOTOZO – Kameoka Katsushi (english)

article motozo bonsai pots

Real Name : Kameoka Katsushi ( 亀岡克史 )

the 4th generation of the ‘Motozo kiln‘ ( 不識庵素三 四代目素三 ) in Tokoname (常滑焼), Japan.

motozo portrait bonsai pot – tokoname

  • 1950 Born in Tokoname, Japan.
  • Choza Award Ceramic Craft Exhibition, win.
  • Choza Award Ceramic Craft Exhibition, encouraging prize.
  • Traditional Industry Expert Prefectural Governor award.

He is well known as a teapot maker more than a bonsai pots maker. His famous unique craftworks appreciate by alot of local fans & oversea fans but there still alot of bonsai lover never know about him. These day his beautiful pots are became fewer on market, because of limited productions. He was born into the family of a Tokoname potter, so he was brought up with clay on his hands. Today his hand-engraved craftwork are recognized by the industry of Japan.


[typography font= »Helvetica* » size= »14″ size_format= »px » color= »#333333″ type= »bold »][box style= »rounded » icon= »none »]Kenny TAYAuthor : Kenny TAY
Source : facebook

I’m glad and so lucky to own this wonderful pot.

motozo bonsai pot – tokoname 1

常滑焼作家 不識庵素三 四代目素三 ( 亀岡克史 )
Size : wide 140mm, height 92mm.

motozo bonsai pot – tokoname

This Dragon Pot is rare as Limited Production, master-piece. This is Motozo high end pot using a Tokoname Red Clay  » Shudei  » (朱泥) the same red clay that using for his own teapot ( kyusu 急須 ). This pot is fully handmade by the famous craftsman « Motozo Kameoka » ( 亀岡素三 ) , Fushigi-an 4th ( 四代不識庵 )



Mr. Kameoka Katsushi seems to prefer the title of « craftsman » over « artist ». For me he appears as both, a craftsman devoted to his craft and an artist with a great passion which provides the energy for his unique and imaginative pieces. All of his pieces are unique, and he always has so many exciting new creations. Every pot has a different style. In spite of the wealth of his experience, his mind is unique and he keeps on getting more and more creative year by year. Kameoka Katsushi was extremely happy with the outcome result of this Dragon pot, and this is one of the finest bonsai pot that he made. now look carefully at this pot structure, if the pot divide into many parts, each part can represent the artist’ technique and his style and i really like the ‘Wild Feeling’ of this dragon pots.

motozo bonsai pot – tokoname bottom



The local clay which Motozo uses is really precious, because of the red clay producing time and the craftwork difficulty, it could only be made in limited quantity, and the time of that baking process, it really was a time-consuming production process.

He used reduction baking method / techniques, this pot has to undergo two steps of baking process. At first, this pot is baked with oxidation fire ( made under oxidized firing ). Secondly, some of the pot surface is covered with rice husk or other materials and baked slowly at lower temperature. Due to lack of oxygen, the clay is reduced and the covered surface turns into black in color and became reduction clay.

motozo bonsai pot – tokoname 3

Minerals could take different colors depending on the baking temperature and oxygen level. When iron is baked with oxygen, it oxidizes to become Fe3+ (Magnetite). On the other hand, iron becomes Fe2+ (Hematite) when it is baked with less oxygen or without it entirely. With less oxygen, fire generates carbon monoxide. This carbon monoxide will draw oxygen away from the iron. 2 steps of combination baking process on this Dragon pot by Oxidized Baking & Reduce Baking, so this Dragon pot appear with amzing beautiful combination color tone.



Kameoka Katsushi is very enthusiastic about exploring new fields and new motifs. Based on his craftwork, engraving, raise, tweak and carving, assured me that he was highly professional and one of the best master engravers which Japan posseses.

In the world of craftsmen, techniques aren’t taught one by one as in a classroom. It is rather a case of watching the whole process and stealing tips here and there. Without learning to think for himself, the craftsman can never suceed or overtake his master. Today his hand-engraved craftwork are recognized by the industry of Japan.

I look forward to seeing more and more of his exquisite work!




motozo bonsai pot signature – tokoname motozo bonsai pot – tokoname signature motozo bonsai pot certificat – tokoname

Inoue Motozo is a child adopted by Tomimoto Iwajirou of Yamagata, as his 3rd son. His real name is Inoue Motosaburou ( 井上素三朗 ) ( Motozo 1st generation )
He was born in Keiou 2 ( 1866 ) in Tokoname and died in Taishou 11 ( 1922 ). His art mimics so well on Bizen or old Korea style that even the best experts can’t discern his works with the originals on just a simple glance.

In Meiji 26 ( 1893 ) he studied the art of tea under the supervision of Shibayama Jungyou and from this period you will have a strong influence on his work.
He studied in a room for the tea ceremony called Fushikian ( The Hermitage of Ignorance ) during his apprenticeship with Shibayama, he taught him the art of Raku-yaki, considered that he had not much to him pass on ceramics and thought to give him the pseudonym of Fügen ( nothing to say / 不言 ).
But for Motozo, which concerns the remaining domain of ignorance ( fushigi / 不識 ) he said, he know nothing… so he call himself with the name  » 不識庵  » and finally took the pseudonym of Fushigi / Fushigi-an ( 不識庵 素三 )


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