Nonomura Ninsei (野々村仁清)

Ninsei NONOMURA (野々村仁清: date of birth and date of death are unknown) is a potter in the early Edo Period. His popular name is Seiemon.

He is a distinguished craftsman of Kyo yaki (Kyoto style ceramic art) earthenware with multicolored overgraze enamels. He was born at Nonomura Village, Kuwata-gun, Tanba Province (present, Miyama-cho Tawn (former Onomura Village), Nantan City, Kyoto Prefecture). It is said that when he was young, he got his training in pottery at Awataguchi and Seto, and later he returned to Kyoto and built his own kiln in front of the Omuro Ninna-ji Temple.

Before the Middle Ages, potters were nothing but nameless artisans, however, he placed a seal of his name 'Ninsei' to his works to announce that they were his own works. In that context, it can be said that Ninsei was the first potter who had a sense of being a 'creator' or 'artist' according to the modern meaning. It is said that Ninsei was especially good at managing a potter's wheel. The existent tea-leaf jars show his impressively refined wheel technique to make a big-sized work with thin uniformed thickness walls without fail. He was also good at sculptural works such as 'Iro-e Kiji Koro' (Incense burner in the shape of pheasant decorated with overgraze enamels) and 'Horagai-gata KORO' ('Incense burner in the form of a conch shell). The existent tea-leaf jars by Ninsei are stereoscopically decorated on the all the facet of the ceramics, with picturesque gorgeous illustrations painted with the multicolored overgraze enamels including the pigments of gold and silver.

Representative works

《Iro-e Kiji Koro》 (Incense burner in the shape of pheasant decorated with overgraze enamels), Ishikawa Prefectural Museum (national treasure). 《Iroe Fujihanamon Chatsubo》 (Tea-leaf Jar with a design of wisteria), MOA Museum of Art (national treasure). 《Iroe Uroko Namimon Chawan》 (Tea bowl with a design of Imbrications), Kitamura Museum (important cultural property). 《Iroe Getsubaizu Chatsubo》(Tea-leaf Jar, Design of moon and plum tree in overgraze enamels), Tokyo National Museum (important cultural property). 《Iroe Keshimon Chatsubo》 (Tea-leaf Jar with a design of poppy), Idemitsu Museum of Art (important cultural property).