sold, with thanks!
Five Sake Cups by the ;legendary Okabe Mineo enclosed in the original signed wooden box titled Seto-Te Hai. The cups hav a very intimate feel, tiny, just enough room for a shot, each in a different style of Mino ware: Shino, E- Shino, Ki-Seto, Nezumi Shino, and Ao-Oribe. Each cup is 4.5 cm (1-3/4 inches) diameter and all are in excellent condition. It even includes the artists biography from the time, still early in his career, likely 1950s.
Okabe Mineo (1919-1990) was born the first son of important artist Kato Tokuro, however the relationship with his father was volatile. When he was 9 Tokuro moved the young family to Seto, where Mineo would graduate the Aichi Prefectural Ceramics School in 1937. After a year at the family kiln, he moved to Tokyo, then joined the army in 1940. He fought against the Americans and would spend several years as a prisoner of war in the Philippines, repatriated to Japan in 1947. He returned to Aichi prefecture, leaving enough distance between himself and his estranged family, and with his wife began producing pottery in Toyoda. In 1953 he met Koyama Fujio; that same year he was awarded the Hokuto prize at the Nitten, and his work was collected by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This was the true beginning of his career. In 1955 he received the JCS award, one of the highest honors for a Japanese potter. By the mid ‘60s. he moved to celadon ware. He changed his name from Kato to Okabe in 1978, to honor his wife who supported his efforts for so many years.