Old yellow

I’ve been half heartedly looking for a yellow pot to eventually use with my Chinese quince. Yellow pots are tricky, like green, they don’t photograph predictably true. They’re not very common, and new ones, with a few exceptions, look pretty loud until some patina develops and quiets them down a little.

This one has cloud feet, and is a well-aged yellow, 40-60 years of age. it is 29.3 cm × 23.7 cm × 7.9 cm. Since the glaze is applied to the sign and seal, it was not identified. Our Japanese Bonsai Pots friend took a look at it when he visited a few months ago and helped shed some more light on it. From what he could see, it is either Chinese, “Shu Hozan”, or Japanese by Amane Hiroshi.






Recently I saw this blue one for sale, and was struck by how closely the shape, size, and clay body resembled the yellow. This one is HoSetsuDoJin, one of the famous old “Kinyo” kilns. Old kilns called “Kinyo” produced blue glazed pots that became so popular the color started to be called Kinyo…from Ryan Bell.


Although similar, the blue one sold for 10x what I paid for the yellow one above.

What looks best in a yellow pot? Think adjacent colors (colors on either side of yellow on the color wheel); red berries of an ilex serrata or crab apple, or salmon flowers of an azalea, deep greens of an broadleaf evergreen. Or, try repeating colors of a yellow quince fruits, or trees shown in their yellow/orange fall colors.

An aside, here are a few other yellows from the search…

20-30 year old Chinese:


The Yamaaki that started it all for me:



A Chinese quince planted in an old yellow pot from Peter Tea’s post from the Taikan-ten. Maybe one of my favorite D-trees…


A couple more examples, Shunka Shozan (check out the post on his works here):


And a few Aiba Koyos from the Tokoname catalog:





What do you think? Definitely bold, likely an acquired taste. I’d like to see more of them used out there!


4 thoughts on “Old yellow

  1. One of my favorite colors but never seen in a bonsai pot….intrigued by your use. In my Arizona desert, I have potted in brown clay and blue. I am wanting to bring more color into my collection. Can you suggest a source for the yellow color pots?
    Thank you, Jim Ireland

  2. I like yellow pots too. I have a question though. For many years I studied watercolor art. I was never very good at it, and painted a few paintings and then fell away. I was always taught that on a color wheel the complimentary is always opposite on the wheel. Reds and yellows (fall) in blue pots and deep purples and deep blues in yellow pots?

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