Bizen kamajirushi.

I borrowed a book on Bizen for some work I am doing. There are two volumes that seem to contain every known kamajirushi.

Some interesting points the book points out.

In the earliest times, the end of the Muromachi age, the symbols were very simple. Any one symbol would progress with the addition of additional strokes as the main kiln produced secondary kilns. To illustrate; the main kiln may have a kamajirushi of a single stroke, either vertical or horizontal. The first bunke kiln, 分家、would have two strokes, same orientation, the third bunke would have three and so on. If you look closely at the pictures it is easy to see if you read from top to bottom, the right hand of the page being the beginning of the page.

The kamajirushi that are the simplest are the earliest as a general rule. If you go up to Taisho period kilns they become much more elaborate and really aren’t true ‘kamajirushi’ but more individual artists signatures.

The book goes into a lot of detail pointing out that the earliest Bizen was mostly ware for everyday use. As such there are a lot of kamajirushi that are long strings of what amount to writing, specifying the kiln, who the item was made for, i.e., if it was part of an order, etc.

The pictures are from both volumes so the they progress from Muromachi to Taisho back to Muromachi and back again. The dividing point is the color pictures of the pieces with the actual marks on them.


About togeii

I have lived in Japan for 19 years doing ceramics almost the whole time. I have a wood burning noborigama and a long snake kiln.. I
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2 Responses to Bizen kamajirushi.

  1. alex blair says:

    What book did you get these kiln markings from?

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