This figurine of the Wind God and Thunder God features intricate workmanship by Nakamura Suiran, a master Cochin ware craftsman, and the colors of Cochin glaze.
Compared to overglaze painting, Cochin glaze is characterized by a glass-like luster and transparency. In addition, the low viscosity of the glaze makes it difficult to express colors as in painting.Therefore, various colors are expressed by the "itchin" technique, in which clay is heaped up like lines.
The process is complex and requires skillful techniques. The glaze is fired two or three times at different firing temperatures for each color. Because of the strain placed on the clay, it is necessary to determine the limits of what the clay can withstand.
The pieces produced by this complex and difficult technique are so beautifully finished in terms of color and transparency that it is hard to believe that they are ceramics. Among the many techniques used in ceramics, this technique is particularly symbolic of color.
The Wind God and Thunder God have been represented in various forms in Oriental and Buddhist art, including the folding screens of Sotatsu Tawaraya. This work is a masterpiece of this technique, with the back of the painting, which could not be fully expressed in a folding screen, covered with an extremely colorful cochin glaze.