Wind Vase Artist: Okada Kenzo (American, born Japan, 1902–1982)

ca. 1978

Asian Art

Although this artist shares the same name as the more famous Abstract Expressionist painter, this Okada Kenzō works in the very different medium of ceramics. The artist created Wind Vase early in his career, when he worked mainly with ash, salt, and iron glazes to create subdued colors. The muted tones of this vase express the Japanese concept of wabi, which celebrates aged textures and rusticity. Okada’s work also embodies the modern fascination with fluidity of form and movement, which in this work is apparent in the unusual curved shape of the sculpture.


Stoneware with green ash glaze


17 1/8 × 10 1/4 × 2 1/2 in. (43.5 × 26 × 6.4 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of the Rubin-Ladd Foundation under the bequest of Ester R. Portnow

Accession Number



Showa era (1926–89)


Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.



Toyobi Far Eastern Art (Frederick Baekeland), New York; purchased in 1979 by The Rubin-Ladd Foundation, Georgetown, Conn. and New York; gift in 2010 to the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.
  • Gendai tougeika meikan (Tokyo: Koudansha, 1985), 36
Object copyright
Additional information

Object/Work type

stoneware, vases


No signature on the ceramic body itself, but the accompanying wooden box lid inside bears his name "Okada Kenzou" (Okayama's oka, field, gonben + kaneru, three; the four kanji are exactly the same as the famous painter Okada Kenzo [1902-82] which is confusing but entirely a different artist). A red square seal deading "Ken" (a part of his name in red characters) follows. The title "Fuu ko" (or "Kaze tsubo" literally meaning "wind urn") is written in large clerical style calligraphy in the center of the lid verso.

Technical metadata and APIs


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