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japanese paintings and works of art

erik thomsen

japanese paintings and works of art

erik thomsen

asian art

Sales exhibition March 31 April 5, 2006 The International Asian Art Fair The Seventh Regiment Armory Park Avenue at 67th Street, New York, NY 10021

Cover: Flowers of the Four Seasons, detail, pair of six-fold screens Anonymous artist of the Rimpa School (Nr. 1)

japanese paintings and works of art

Table of contents 5 7 33 45 59 75 84 86 92
foreword and acknowledgements screens paintings bamboo baskets ceramics lacquers signatures, seals and inscriptions notes bibliography

erik thomsen

asian art

foreword and acknowledgements

It is with great pleasure that I present this inaugural catalog, which includes a selection from my five specialties within classical Japanese art: screens, paintings, bamboo baskets, ceramics and lacquers. Unlike most Japanese art objects seen in the West, all items presented here were made, not with exports in mind, but rather for the Japanese market. Such artwork avoids many of the compromises and alterations in artistic traditions that mark the art made to fit foreign tastes. Instead, we see works of art that were clearly created in line with Japanese aesthetics and traditions. Most of the objects here were made with one or more of the four classical arts in mind: the ways of tea, flowers, calligraphy, and incense (Sad, Kad, Shod, and Kd). Ceramics used in the Way of Tea, Sad, mirror Japanese aesthetics especially well. The simple, imperfect shapes of tea ceramics draw our attention to their beautiful textures and colors that can only truly be appreciated upon holding them in ones hands. Bamboo baskets such as the ones presented in this catalog were made for the Way of Flowers, Kad, to present ikebana flower arrangements. They also represent another important element of the tea ceremony, or Way of Tea. Highly prized by tea masters, they commanded princely sums in the peak years of basket making during the Taish and early Shwa periods, ca. 1910 to 190. Their beauty is obvious in their form, and, upon closer inspection, in the skillful workmanship of the fine details. Signed bamboo baskets such as these were largely unknown in the West until the acclaimed exhibition in 1999 at the Asia Society, New York, of the Cotsen basket collection. Lacquerwork, such as writing boxes and paper boxes, are intrinsic to the Way of Calligraphy, Shod. They were meant to be used, but, like most artwork in Japan, were carefully stored away into fitted boxes when not in use. As a result, they are therefore Erik Thomsen March 2006 Above all I want to thank my wife, Cornelia, for all her support, encouragement, and help that she has given me now during the catalog production and over the years. I can think of no one else who better manages the many tasks as wife, mother, exhibitor, student and artist. I would also like to thank Mr. Daizabur Tanaka, owner of the gallery Tanaka Onkod in Tokyo, where I apprenticed 23 years ago, and my parents, Harry and Ene Marie Thomsen, for giving me the foundations upon which I could grow. I would like to thank those who made this catalog possible: the designer Valentin Beinroth for his clean, imaginative design, attention to detail and boundless energy, which kept me focused on the catalog in spite of fairs and travels; the photographer Klaus Wldele for his patience, long working sessions and good eye; Hans Bjarne Thomsen, my brother, professor in Japanese art history at the University of Chicago, for his invaluable research, which uncovered several surprises; and Inger Sigrun Brodey, my sister, professor in literature at the University of North Carolina, for her proof-reading and good suggestions. today, decades later, in immaculate condition. The simple designs, such as in catalog item 22, are particularly effective against the mirror-black roiro ground, and, when examined up close, reveal superb details. Hanging scrolls and folding screens have been an important part of Japanese art and culture for over a millennium. In the tea ceremony, a tea master would often select a scroll with a painting or calligraphy that provided the best match for the season and occasion. Screens were also used within the tea ceremony, as well as in performances of classical arts, where they functioned as dramatic or festive backgrounds to the event.


1 Flowers of the Four Seasons

Anonymous artist of the Rimpa School Edo period (161516), early 19th century H 65" W 1" each (165 cm 366 cm) Pair of six-fold screens Ink, mineral colors, and gofun on gold foil. This fine pair of Rimpa School screens presents a journey through the four seasons of the year by representative plants and flowers for each season. For example, plants representing the spring are the kodemari, sumire, and yamabuki. The summer is represented by the iris, lily, nadeshiko, aoi, and kiri. The fall by the chrysanthemum, morning glory, bush clover, ominaeshi, and susuki. And the winter is represented solely by the narcissus. Each of the twelve clusters on the screens represents a group of plants from a particular season. The grouping of the clusters is according to a larger plan: the larger cluster of chrysanthemums growing around a fence forms the left-most panels of the right-hand screen. This group connects to another autumn group in the right-most panels of the lefthand screen. Placed next to each other, these two Similar examples may be seen in a number of museum collections.1 halves combine to form a coherent program: the panels furthest to the right display the only cluster of spring flowers, from this, the directions (like that of a handscroll) goes left, and we travel through groups of summer and autumn clusters. At the very end, we meet with the only winter group in the screens: a small group of narcissus peeking from around the farthest corner.

2 Birds and Flowers of the Seasons

Circle of Ogata Krin (16581716) Edo period (16151868), early 18th century H 65" W 142 " each (165 cm 362 cm) Pair of six-fold screens Ink, colors, and gofun on paper An anonymous Rimpa School artist has created a luxurious and dense undergrowth of flowering plants and trees, which conceals not only additional flora, but also a pair of quail and pheasants among its vegetation. This pair of folding screens with painting in ink, colors, and gofun represents a collection of the flowering plants of the four seasons. There are the spring flowers, wisteria, willow, thistle, kodamari, suzushiro, shakuyaku, and kobushi. The summer plants are represented by mizuaoi, uri, tsuyukusa, iris, lily, peony, and an eggplant. The autumn plants include susuki, kiky, keit, nadeshiko, ominaeshi, kuzu, bush clover, morning glory, and gourds. The sole winter plant is the pine. Here, as in other works, the flowers of the autumn are clearly favored: the autumn flowers are centered on an entire six-fold screen, while the other six-fold screen is divided among the flowers of the three other seasons. A favorite technique of Rimpa artists can be seen here, namely the tarashikomi, a process that involves dripping ink of differing modality into ink that has not yet dried, thus producing a mottled effect. In addition, the ink modalities are carefully varied, in order to create a convincing sense of depth to the leafy undergrowth: there is a clearly articulated layering of leaves, important in a work with this many leaves and flowers arranged on top of each other in a small space.


3 Fan Screen with Scenes from the Tales of Ise

Follower of Tawaraya Statsu (?163?) Edo period (161516), early 1th century H 6 " W 7" (16 cm 1 cm) Single two-fold screen Ink, mineral colors, and gofun on paper, with gold foil ground A follower of Statsu painted this fine and early two-panel screen with the depiction of twelve fans, scattered on a gold ground. Of the twelve, two are closed and ten are either fully or partly opened. Most of the fans are seasonal in nature and depict flowers or plants in bloom or in the process of changing colors. For example, spring is represented by cherry blossoms and the willow; the summer is represented by the hydrangea (ajisai), and the autumn by the bush clover (hagi) and the maple leaves. In addition, vigorous waves are associated with the stormy seas of the autumn. The winter is represented by a pair of fans to the lower left corner, which depicts Prince Ariwara no Narihira (250), the main character of Ise Monogatari, on horse, looking at a snow-clad Mt. Fuji in the neighboring fan; the distance between the rider and the far-away mountain is here represented by separating the scene onto two different fans. The source of the image is a poem by Narihira that describes Mt. Fuji as seen on a journey: Indifferent to the seasons Mount Fuji stands aloft Flecked like a kanako cloth With fallen snow The visual representation of this famous poem usually centers on the Prince on horseback, looking over his side at the snow-clad Mt. Fuji in the distance. Fan screens present us with distinct puzzles: was the placement of the fans on the screen controlled by the artist? Are the groupings and placements of the This particular screen may also contain an inner meaning: a meaning that focused on the only figural representation in the screen, namely Prince Narihira. The placement of the Prince may be significant, as we have another screen, a six-fold screen by the school of Statsu, that is roughly contemporary to the two-fold screen in this catalog. In the six-panel screen, a fan with a seated figure appears at exactly the same position, i.e., the lower left corner, on the last panel, second to bottom fan.3 In this case, as with the other, a courtier appears among fans whose subjects are all seasonal markers. In the case of the two-fold screen, the ensemble of fans, if indeed intended as an ensemble, may all be markers to various poems within the Tales of the Ise. If so, this leaves the viewer (and the reader of this catalog) with a distinctly challenging game: the identification of all the specific poems represented by the images on the screen. fans significant? And are there inner meanings within the fans themselves? There was certainly an element of play within some fan screens, for example, the pairs by Statsu in the Kunaich and the Sanbin of the Daigoji Temple, where each fan relates to a specific literary source.1 The object for the viewer was then to be able to identify each scene, poem, or chapter from the available evidence. Likewise, identification was the key in examples where all the fans on a screen stemmed from one narrative, as, for example, fifty-four fans representing each of the fifty-four chapters of the Tales of Genji.2


4 Cranes of Summer and Autumn

Tosa School Edo period (16151868), 18th century H 28 " W 98 " each (72 cm 251 cm) Pair of six-fold screens Ink, mineral colors and gofun on paper and gold foil Here four pairs of cranes are shown inhabiting a marshy landscape against a rich gold background. The cranes represent the different species that frequent the Japanese archipelago. The image, of course, represents an ideal space, one in which the stylized cranes can strike poses and be shown next to the flowers and plants of different seasons, blooming at the same time within the space of the screen surface. The two halves of the screen pair were made to be shown together, and the lake that is depicted on both was constructed as the spatial unit that In other words, the land mass to the extreme right and left represents autumn, and the lake, the space that unites the two, represents summer. Traversing this distance in time, seasons, and space, are the cranes and plants, all of which are shown, one after the other, in striking poses. The artist has incorporated a relationship of equality between the plants and cranes, all of which occupy about the same space and have been shrunk (or expanded) to appear to be the same height and volume as each other. Moreover, the spacings and compositions had been ably planned out on the basis of the twelve individual panels of the screens: the artist has succeeded in creating within each panel pair (traditionally thought out as a unit), a balanced, independent composition. An interesting aspect of the screen is the signature to the right extreme of the combined pair. The signature was clearly added later, as can be seen by the discoloration of the gold surrounding the signature. Another name was probably removed and replaced by one which reads by the brush of Tosa Mitsuoki, the [honorary] Imperial Guard and a seal marked Fujiwara.1 Both names and honorary title are associated with the artist Tosa Mitsuoki (16171691), the most important Tosa school painter of the last four hundred years. Although the work is a very fine example of the 18th century Tosa School, a previous owner apparently felt it necessary to try to improve on the pedigree of the screen by changing the artists name to that of a better-known artist. combined the two compositions. When placed next to each other, as intended, large growths of autumn flowers anchor the extremes of the larger composition. The autumn flowers are composed of various types of chrysanthemums as well as the kiky plant (a Chinese bellflower). The area between the two large groups of plants is punctuated by smaller plant groups, both autumnal plants (chrysanthemums and marshy reeds) and summer plants (iris and mizuaoi).


5 Four Elegant Pastimes

Shibata Zeshin (107191) Meiji period (161912), 19th century H  " W 109" each (123 cm 277 cm) Signed (right screen): Zeshin, with Zeshin jar seal. (left screen): emulating older paintings, Zeshin (Koga ni narau Zeshin); with Zeshin jar seal Pair of six-fold screens Ink, colors, gofun, and lacquer on paper This pair is an important work in the oeuvre of Shibata Zeshin. It is one of four variations on a theme by an older painting. The screen pair with painting in ink, black lacquer and mineral colors depicts women and men partaking in the four classical Chinese elegant pastimes. The four pastimes, or the kinki shoga, were traditionally the koto (musical instrument), chess, calligraphy, and painting. Within these panels the four undergo humorous changes: the musical


instruments become the samisen and the biwa, chess becomes backgammon and go, calligraphy becomes the act of letter writing, and paintings become the pair of standing screens located within the right screen. The left screen is signed emulating older paintings, Zeshin (Koga ni narau Zeshin) and sealed Zeshin; while the right screen is signed and sealed Zeshin.

Zeshin based his composition on the famous Hikone Screen, a single, six-fold screen from the early seventeenth century.1 The screen is presently in a Hikone museum, but was at the time of Zeshin in a rich merchants house, where Zeshin was allowed to study it closely. From the study and reworking of the Hikone Screen emerged four innovative variations on the Hikone theme. As a truly inspired artistic personality, Zeshin was not satisfied with making a


mere copy and made all four versions significantly different from each other. In this particular version, two of the figures are straight copies from the Hikone Screen, but many others are adaptations, many by slightly changing angles of depiction. For example, the girl pointing at the two screens in the present version appears in the Hikone Screen as a girl pointing in the opposite direction. Likewise, entirely new figures abound, most notably the three central dancers. In effect, Zeshin started with a single six-panel screen (one

that likely joined four panels of one screen with two from another) and stretched it out into a unified twelve-panel composition. Up close, both the new and old versions show a similar emphasis on textile patterns; however, Zeshin also introduces new features, such as the innovative use of black lacquer in the womens hair. Of the four sets that Zeshin made from the Hikone original, one is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum, New York, and illustrated in Gke, vol. 1, ills. 219220. The second is in the Lee Institute for


Japanese Art at the Clark Center, Hanford, CA, and illustrated in Gke, vol. 1, 210211.2 The third is the present screen pair, illustrated in Gke, vol. 1, ills. 221222. And the fourth is a pair that has not yet been illustrated, but rests in a private Japanese collection.3 Most of the four have been passed down in prestigious collections; the present pair was, for a long time, in the collection of the industrialist Fujiyama Raita (163193).

Provenance: Collection of Fujiyama Raita (163193) Exhibited: Yugei no Bi at the Fukuoka Municipal Art Museum in 1997. Published: Gke Tadaomi, ed. Shibata Zeshin meihinsh: Bakumatsu kaikaki no shikk kaiga. 2 vols. Tokyo: Gakken, 191, vol. 1, item 221222.


6 Flower Viewing Season in the Pleasure Quarters

Attributed to Baiken Eishun (active 1701763) Edo period (161516), circa 17101720 H 2" W 9 " (107 cm 227 cm) Single six-fold screen Ink, mineral colors, and gofun on paper This early nikuhitsu screen presents the viewer with a festive flower viewing scene, complete with interior scenes of lounging courtesans and outside scenes of playing children and performers. The scene to the right describes two buildings within a certain pleasure quarter. Judging from the bucket and brooms attached the roof of the building seen below and from the blossoming cherry trees lining the streets surrounding the two houses, this may well refer to the Yoshiwara area of Edo.1 The interior scene describes a number of courtesans in relaxed modes; they are seen conversing, drinking rice wine, and playing the samisen, a three-stringed musical instrument. One group of courtesans, in finely-differentiated kimono, enjoys the flowering cherry trees from an open room that has had its sliding doors removed. An interior room can also The painting is unusual for its creative combination of two known genres: one a type that shows scenes within the Yoshiwara quarters, and the other showing the daily occurrences of commoners, usually in terms of street scenes. The combination may well connect to the possible authorship by Baiken Eishun, who was an Osaka artist known for his wide repertoire, with not only paintings, but with an oeuvre that includes both surimono prints and illustrated books.2 A number of paintings are known by the hand of this exceptionally long-active artist, including key works in the Freer Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.3 Provenance: Formerly in the collection of the Manno Art Museum, Osaka, Japan Published: Kobayashi Tadashi, ed. Manno Bijutsukan, Ukiyoe nikuhitsu taikan, vol. 7. (Tokyo: Kodansha, 1996), cat. nr. 32. The exterior scene, that occupies the entire left side of the screen, shows a larger group of people enjoying a whole range of activities. This is a typical genre scene showing the various contemporary games and occupations. We have a prominently placed blind masseur, here seeming to dance with two young women, while observed by a large male figure. Other girls are playing, some with a long stick, others breaking a branch off the cherry tree, still others are playing with a kemari ball. A dog painted on the far left completes the last of the six panels. be seen to the back of the building; here the doors are almost closed, leaving, however, a crack open to allow the viewer a voyeuristic glance into the interiors, where a woman is seated and attending a reclining figure, whose identity cannot be ascertained. The room seems to be lit by an andon lamp, whose light casts the shadows of the shapes within the rooms on the paper-covered sliding doors.



7 Hakuin Ekaku
(165176) Edo period (161516), circa 1765 H 35 " W 9" (incl. mounting 66 " 12 ") (90 cm 23 cm, 169 cm 32 cm) Three seals of artist: Kokanki, Hakuin and Ekaku Hanging scroll, ink on paper Bodhidharma in Meditation, Facing a Wall (Menpeki Daruma ) Inscription: Become the master of your heart, and do not let it master you. Kokoro no shi to nari, kokoro no shi wa nashi In this dramatic hanging scroll, the Zen Buddhist monk Hakuin has adopted an admonition from the Six Parmitas Sutra, and placed it in the context of a meditating Bodhidharma (J. Daruma) figure.1 The sutra text admonishes the reader (and, in extension, Hakuin his viewer) to disregard his or her own heart, or worldly matters, and to instead focus ones energy on ruling the passions. By depicting the meditating Bodhidharma beneath this phrase, Hakuin may well be indicating that strict adherence to Zen Buddhist doctrines and rituals such as seated meditation is the correct way to become the master of ones passions. A meditating Bodhidharma, here facing an imaginary wall, is a singularly apt symbol of strict adherence to ritual. The central, defining event in the life of Bodhidharma, a semi-legendary monk, credited with bringing Zen Buddhism from India to China in the sixth century CE, was seen as his single-minded period of meditation, said to have been conducted in a cave, facing a blank stone wall, for nine years. Distractions were done away with, for example, after falling asleep during meditation, he tore away his eyelids.2 Moreover, as seated meditation (zazen) The painting is clearly also intended to take a place in the one-brushstroke Bodhidharma (Ippitsu Daruma) tradition, in which the robes of the Bodhidharma were drawn with one continuous stroke of the brush.5 The tradition ultimately derives from early Chinese depictions of the patriarch, in which the robes were described with a bare minimum of strokes. Numerous examples of one-brushstroke paintings exist, including a Sengoku period (133 The painting is not, however, simply an illustration of a Buddhist dictum; there are artistic traditions and other layers of meaning behind the painting. One striking aspect of the painting is its brushwork and ink modulation. It is clear that the brush moved quickly to create the seated figure and inscription in a few dramatic strokes, paying little attention to finer modulation of line. However, by using coarsely ground ink and heavy-sized paper, Hakuin was able to create a dramatic mottling effect within the individual lines of the figure.3 The dramatic tonal contrasts within the lines, the vigorous speed of the brush, and the immediacy of the brushwork significantly heightens the intensity of the painting. In addition, the curious mottling effect of the ink also increases the presence of the figure: the lines seem to imply age and a sense of permanence. Although brushed in only a few strokes, the figure acquires paradoxically a sense of monumentality that goes beyond its actual space on the paper. The technique is closely connected to the message: they reemphasize the immobility and greatness of the Zen Buddhist patriarch and create a sense of timelessness for Bodhidharma as well as for Buddhist rituals and doctrine. Hakuin uses the mottled ink technique in other paintings, including other forms of the seated Bodhidharma, but in few other example has he so successfully created a simple figure of monumental strength through so few lines. was one of the key rituals in Zen Buddhism, Hakuins choice of the seated meditating Bodhidharma seems quite apt.


1392) example at the Erinji Temple in Kai that may have served as a prototype for Hakuin as well as examples by Shkai Reiken (13151396), Isshi (160 166), and other Zen monks of the Edo period.6 Hakuin, however, takes that pictorial tradition a step further by incorporating another word-and-image tradition, that of incorporating hidden characters and messages into an image. The idea of hiding characters within images is an older Japanese tradition that has been incorporated into a number of media, including sutra frontispiece paintings and lacquer boxes. Hakuin, however, seems to have been the first to combine the two into a single image. The question then arises for the viewer: what specific character? Various authorities have attempted to describe Hakuins seated Bodhidharma figure as one character: Kat Shshun suggests that it represents the character gu (, foolishness), and others the character nin ( endurance). Both are possible in terms of the standard Japanese reductions of Chinese characters. Another possibility is the character in (the right part of the character ) that forms Hakuins own name. This is supported by a pair of Menpeki Daruma paintings in the Konchiin Temple in Tokyo.7 The two paintings of the pair were painted by Hakuin at the same time to commemorate the meeting between him and Gud , a fellow Rinzai sect monk. From reading the inscriptions, it is clear that the two seated figures were the two friends, reduced to simple Chinese characters of gu and in, representing Gud and Hakuin. This is then a clear case where the seated Daruma can represent the name of Hakuin and also a clear indication that Hakuins Menpeki Daruma may have multiple meanings. In other words, the seated Bodhidharma painting in this catalog may also be a playful representation of the monk Hakuin himself engaged in seated meditation. If so, this would also play in with the Hakuin we know from other paintings, where the painter sometimes takes the place of Daruma, Hotei, or other figures, thereby gaining complexity from the layering of identities and

depth from the deeper implications of this switch in identities. By representing himself as iconic figures, Hakuin challenges our preconceptions through flashes of insight and humor. Although this painting was probably performed as a sekiga (seat painting) or a performance piece completed in an instant with only a few brushstrokes at a communal occasion, the painting is by no means a trifle of little meaning. Many layers and traditions operate behind this seemingly simple painting, giving it a profound sense of depth and importance and, at the same time, playing humorous games with the viewer. Hakuins paintings were never entirely serious or entirely playful: forming a key element within his complex and timeless art. The painting is housed in a fitted kiri wood box, certified and inscribed in 1960 by Tszan Skaku (191197), the seventeenth abbot of Hakuins temple, the Shinji Temple, in Hara. Published: Morita Shiry. Bokubi Tokush: Hakuin Bokuseki. Kyoto: Bokubisha, 190, nr. 279.


8 Hakuin Ekaku
(165176) Edo period (161516), Late 1750s H 12 " W 12 " (incl. mounting 60 " 1 ") (32.5 cm 32 cm, 15.5 cm 7.5 cm) Three seals of artist: Rinzai seish, Hakuin, and Ekaku no in Hanging scroll, ink on silk God of Agriculture Viewing Waterfall (Takimi Shinn z ) Inscription: / / / Crushing herbs to understand medicines, uprooting trees to plow the land. Human body and head of ox: this is the way of the Shennong Kusa o uchi, yaku o shiru / Ki o koroshite, suki to nasu / Karada wa hito, kubi wa ushi / Shid Shinnshi The exotic figure with human form and ox head in this painting is Shennong (J. Shinn), a legendary ruler of China first mentioned by Mencius and also known as the Emperor of Fire.1 He is said to have taught humans a variety of abilities, including the use of fire, the ways of agriculture, and the knowledge of herbs and medicine. The complex mythological status of this god is retold in numerous sources, including his conception at the sight of a dragon and an upbringing in the wilderness. At one time, he is also said to have harnessed dragons in order to measure the circumference of the earth. Another unusual feature of the painting is the Shennongs legendary status is also emphasized by visual media that usually depict the god with horns, wildly unkempt hair, and clothes made of natural leaves. He usually also holds blades of grass in his hand or mouth, symbols of his knowledge of herbs. A long tradition of depicting Shennong in paintings and sculpture exists throughout East Asia, with placement of a seated Shennong by a waterfall. Hakuin has in fact taken the iconography of the waterfall-viewing Kannon Takemi Kannon and adapted that to the Shennong. While Hakuin has made a number of waterfall-viewing Kannon figures with similar compositions, upon looking through Hakuins extant oeuvre, it becomes apparent that At the same time, this painting by Hakuin presents us with a number of innovations in this venerable tradition. One curious departure in this painting, which the Hakuin scholar Takeuchi Naoji has described as possessing a strange expression for a works from his last years,3 is the ox head and the rope leash worn around its neck. While the ox head was long an aspect of the literary tradition of Shennong that emphasized a human body and an ox head, the visual tradition has persisted in depicting his head in mostly human form, hinting at the ox connection through the pair of horns on his forehead. Hakuins depiction of a fully bovine face makes that aspect explicit and marks a significant departure from traditionseemingly unprecedented in the visual culture of Japan and China. Hakuin may in part have been influenced by Hakutaku images, where depictions of the ox-headed creature vary between a human face and an ox-like head.5 Chinese versions usually showing him in a group image with other legendary rulers, while Japanese artists have tended to depict him alone, seated on a rock in wilderness. Notable Japanese depictions of Shennong include those made by Hakuin, Sesson Shkei (150159), Kano Tsunenobu (16361713), and Ike Taiga (17231776), but a whole range of painters, carvers, and printmakers participated in the tradition.2 Interest in the god increased during the eighteenth centuryat which time this image was madepartly through the renewed interest in Chinese culture, through the importation of Chinese visual materials, and through the antiquarian interest of Japanese sinophile cultural figures.


this work represents the unique example of a waterfall composition centered about a person who is not the Kannon. It is hard to give a specific reason for this change in iconography, except to point to other examples where Hakuin has excluded, merged, and otherwise adapted iconographical features of his subjects. In such variations we clearly see the hand of an experimenting artist, unafraid of trying new ideas in his paintings.6 The composition may also relate to the unusual small, square format of the painting, in which the god could hardly be seen standing up, which is how Hakuin usually presented Shennong in his paintings.7 The combination of unusual factors of this painting, including the above-mentioned features, its appearance on silk, the high state of finish and details, the unusual square format, and the unusual calligraphic style, point to a special occasion and purpose. Perhaps it was made for a special customer? Hakuin often did so, according to other documented cases. Here we may look at the topic of this painting. We know that it was a common yearly ritual for medical doctors and pharmacists to display an image of Shennong at the winter solstice and to make offerings to the god. And we also know that Edo-period doctors were often wealthy collectors of art works. It would make perfect sense for Hakuin to have made this finely painted work on relatively costly silk for such a person in return for a generous contribution to Hakuins Shinji Temple. The painting is housed in a fitted kiri wood box, certified and inscribed in 1960 by Tszan Skaku (191197), the seventeenth abbot of Hakuins temple, the Shinji Temple, in Hara. Published: Takeuchi Naoji. Hakuin. (Tokyo: Chikuma Shob, 196), 0.


9 Watanabe Gentai
(17 122) Edo period (161516) H 19 " W 27 " (incl. mounting 5 " 33 ") (9. cm 69.3 cm, 13 cm 5 cm) Inscribed: Henei Seals: Hen and Ei Hanging scroll, colors and ink on silk The artist has depicted five finely-detailed horses in a marshy meadow by a lake. Each of the horses seems to be of a different color and type and each is shown in a different activity: whether drinking water, grazing, scratching its head, looking away, or simply lying down. The season is clearly spring and the soft, light greens of the willow branches and meadow, as well as the light blues and grays of the lake and far-away shores, form the stage for the bright and assertive colors of the five horses. The artist of this painting, Watanabe Gentai (17 122), was one of the many talented students of the Edo-based painter Tani Bunch (176310). Gentais connection to Bunch may be seen here in his interest in naturalistic detail and harmonic color patterns, as well as in his interest in contemporary Chinese paintings, particularly the type made popular by the Qing dynasty painter Shen Nanping and his followers. Shen traveled to Japan and, during his This painting seems also to be a loose adaptation of the popular Chinese Eight Horses of Mu Wang theme, in which eight horses of different colors and types belonging to a legendary emperor are shown in a marshy meadow. Typically they are shown in expressive freedom, interacting with each other in an equine paradise, without the interference of human beings. Three Chinese horses, however, get lost in the translation to this particular Japanese painting, and as a result, the connection to the story of the Chinese emperor becomes loosened, but other elements, such as the setting and the idea of the freedom-loving horses are kept. Gentai may have chosen a smaller number of horses in order to better show the individual details of the horses. After his apprenticeship with Bunch, Gentai started an atelier of his own and succeeded in establishing a smaller school by training sons and relatives, who in turn trained their offspring. He seems to have been successful in gaining customers during a time of intense competition between artists, perhaps by balancing the publics interest in China and other foreign countries with domestic needs, such as paintings of animals for the various zodiac years. This painting was very possibly created for such a purpose, for a discriminating merchant who needed a painting for the year of the horse. short time in the country, created great interest in his painting style which was new for the Japanese. After his departure, he left behind a growing group of followers, which is popularly referred to as the Nagasaki school of painting. The inspiration if not prototype of this particular painting was likely a work of this school: we see the characteristics through the strong color contrasts of the horses; the balanced composition of the work; the lush, marshy placement of the work; and the strong ink brushwork of the tree trunks.


bamboo baskets

10 Iizuka Rkansai
(190195) Shwa period (1926199), circa 1936191 H 9 " L 10 " W 10" (25 cm 26 cm 25.5 cm) Signed: Rkansai saku The striking bamboo ikebana basket illustrated here is a masterpiece by Rkansai. The cubic form is simple yet bold and dramatic. In keeping with the simple form, the handles are composed of two short cylindrical sections. The body is woven with light-colored split bamboo in the triangular asa-noha pattern and is dramatically offset by dark brown vertical supports, which continue from the inside to the outside and from one side to the other, crossing each other below and thereby forming a dynamic pattern on the bottom. The two wide flattened bamboo sections are the most striking feature of this basket. It is signed on the side with an incised signature reading Rkansai saku or made by Rkansai. It comes with the original fitted sugi wood box, which is inscribed on the top of the beveled lid Hanakago or Flower Basket. On the inside of the lid it is titled Shik or Four Bright Things, which refers to the wide bamboo strips on the four sides; signed Rkansai saku or made by Rkansai; and sealed Rkansai. The red oval seal is consistent Rkansai is widely acknowledged as the greatest Japanese basket maker of the 20th century. The sixth son of the basket maker Hsai I, he started out making intricate baskets in the karamono-style but went on to develop many new ideas and techniques. He pioneered modern bamboo crafts and exerted great influence on numerous post-war bamboo artists. His works are in the collections of many institutions, including the Tokyo National Museum of Modern Art and Idemitsu Museum of Art. For similar bamboo works by Rkansai, see Iizuka Rkansai: Master of Modern Bamboo Crafts, e.g., item 1, a cubic brazier (ca. 1927) and item 32, a flower basket using a similar architecture of dark vertical supports against a light body (ca. 1932). with those illustrated for 1936199 in Iizuka Rkansai: Master of Modern Bamboo Crafts (Tochigi Prefectural Museum of Fine Arts, 199, pages 11119); the box signature most closely matches those illustrated for 19361.


11 Iizuka Rkansai
(190195) Taish period (19121926), 1910s H 11 ", D 11 " (29 cm, 30 cm) Signed: Rkansai This round ikebana basket by the bamboo artist Rkansai is woven with darkly colored split bamboo in the square yottsu-me pattern, here arranged diagonally; the inside bottom is in the hexagonal kumo-no-suajiro (spider web) pattern. The basket is signed on the bottom with an incised signature reading Rkansai. It comes with a fitted kiri wood box, which is inscribed on the top of the beveled lid Hanakago or Flower Basket. On the inside of the lid, he signed Rkansai ky-saku or made long ago by Rkansai, and stamped three red seals, together reading Rkansai. According to Iizuka Rkansai: Master of Modern Bamboo Crafts (Tochigi Prefectural Museum of Fine Arts, 199, pages 11119), this set of three red seals was used by Rkansai from the early 1920s to circa 193. The signature is consistent with those illustrated in this catalog of the large Rkansai exhibition in 199 at the Tochigi Prefectural Museum of Fine Arts, where 110 of his works were exhibited. For a similar bamboo basket using the same weave in a round form, see Iizuka Rkansai, item 5, a flower basket from circa 192. For biographical details on Rkansai, see previous catalog entry. Accordingly, Rkansai must have inscribed and signed this box between 1920 and 193, but the basket itself is an earlier work by him, made probably in the late 1910s. The original box had been lost and he signed this replacement box later for the owner of the basket, using more valuable kiri wood.

12 Maeda Chikubsai I
(1721950) Shwa period (1926199), circa 1930 H 16" L 15 " W 6 " (1 cm 0 cm 16. cm) Signed: Chikubsai kore tsukuru According to Chikubsais box inscription, this outstanding bamboo ikebana basket is made in the shape of a drum; it could, however, equally well be in the shape of the full moon. Indeed, a very similar basket is illustrated and entitled Moon-shaped flower basket in Japanese Bamboo Baskets: Masterworks of Form & Texture from the Collection of Lloyd Cotsen (Los Angeles, Cotsen Occasional Press, 1999), item number 91. Apart from the dramatic design, the exceptionally fine details using numerous weaving techniques sets this basket apart. It is a delight to examine the basket details up close. The basket is signed on the bottom with an incised signature reading Chikubsai kore tsukuru or this made by Chikubsai. It comes with a copper liner for ikebana use and with the original fitted sugi wood box, which is inscribed on the top of the lid Taiko-shiki Hanakago or Drum-shaped Flower Basket. On the inside of the lid it is signed Seny Kuzezato Chikubsai-z or made by Chikubsai of the Seny Studio in Kuzezato and bears a red seal reading Chikubsai.

Chikubsai was one of the greatest basket makers of the Kansai region. His son, Chikubsai II (1917 2003), continued the tradition and was named a Living National Treasure for the bamboo crafts in 1995.


13 Morita Chikuami
Active circa 19001935 Taish period (19121926), circa 1920 H 2", D 7 " (61 cm, 19 cm) Signed: Chikuami kore tsukuru This elegant basket in the karamono-style has a tall handle and a hexagonal body that becomes round at the opening. It is woven using a combination of very narrow split bamboo strips and wide lacquered bamboo pieces. The basket is signed on the bottom with an incised signature reading Chikuami kore tsukuru or this made by Chikuami. It comes with the original fitted wood box, which is inscribed on the top of the lid Hanakago or Flower Basket. On the inside of the lid it is signed Chikuami z or made by Chikuami and bears a round red seal reading Chikuami. Chikuami was the artist name of Morita Shintar, who lived in Kyoto and was active from the late Meiji to early Shwa periods.


14 Tanabe Chikuunsai II
(19102000) Shwa period (1926199), circa 1950 H 23 ", D  " (60.5 cm, 21 cm) Signed: Chikuunsai kore tsukuru This tall bamboo ikebana basket in double-gourd shape is woven with very narrow strips of split bamboo. The attractive shape is enhanced by the superb details throughout the basket using numerous weaving techniques. In spite of its size, it is surprisingly light in weight. The basket is signed on the bottom with an incised signature reading Chikuunsai kore tsukuru or this made by Chikuunsai. It comes with the original fitted kiri wood box, which is inscribed on the top of the lid Hy-gata Taka-te Hanakago or Gourdshaped Flower Basket with Tall Handle. On the inside of the lid it is signed Sakaifu Nans Chikuunsai z or made by Chikuunsai of the Nans Studio in Sakai-fu and bears two red seals reading Tanabe no in (seal of Tanabe) and Chikuunsai. The artist name Chikuunsai belongs to the Tanabe family, one of the most important bamboo-basket makers of Osaka. Chikuunsai I lived from 177 to 1937; this basket was made by his son Chikuunsai II; he in turn passed on the artist name to his oldest son, Chikuunsai III (b. 190), in 1991.


15 Chikuunsai II
(19102000) Shwa period (1926199), dated 1969 H 9", D 1 " (22.6 cm, 37 cm) Signed: Chikuunsai z The illustrated large bamboo ikebana basket is woven in the hexagonal muttsu-me pattern using very narrow split bamboo strips. Entitled En or circle, it was exhibited at the th Japanese Contemporary Art Exhibition in 1969. The artist signed the basket on the bottom with an incised signature reading Chikuunsai z or made by Chikuunsai. It comes with the original fitted kiri wood box, which is entitled on the top of the lid En and inscribed Kikk-sukashi-ami Hanakago or Hexagonal Open-Mesh Weave Flower Basket. On the inside of the lid, it bears the inscription Dai Hachi-kai Nihon Gendai Kgei Bijutsu Tenrankai Shuppin or Exhibited at the th Japanese Contemporary Art Exhibition and is signed Tekisuikyo Chikuunsai z or made by Chikuunsai of the Tekisuikyo Studio and stamped with two red seals reading Tanabe no in (seal of Tanabe) and Chikuunsai. For biographical details on Chikuunsai, see previous catalog entry.



16 Hagi Tea Bowl, Named Usumomiji Pale Fall Colors

Edo period (161516), 1th century H 3 " L 5 " (.5 cm 1 cm) With fitted silk brocade pouch and inscribed kiri wood box. This striking Hagi tea bowl (chawan) carries with it a long history of the tea ceremony and a complex layering of meaning. The bowl has received its name from a tea master and it has been handed down in Japanese tea master collections for centuries and comes with its set of pedigree. The bowl was turned on the potters wheel as seen in its overall symmetric form: the body curves out gracefully from a small well-formed foot, creating rows of lines on the lower half of the bowl and culminating in a slightly asymmetric, uneven rim. The bowl has been immersed in a vat of glaze into which it was dipped two or three times, as can be seen in the uneven application of glaze close to the foot. Some glaze was even splashed on to the foot itself, a sign of the speed with which the application was undertaken, adding to the sense of spontaneity that was highly prized by the tea connoisseurs. Other spontaneous expressions of wabi, the tea term that denote the sense of incompleteness and imperfection,1 can be seen in the small circles of unglazed areas on the side of the bowl; these could have been bubbles in the glaze that hindered the direct contact of the glaze to the clay surface. With time, these imperfections have become emphasized through the tea stains on the glaze on the inside of the bowl, which represent evidence of appreciation and constant use of the object within the tea world. The stains have with time highlighted the glaze imperfections by forming circular stains around them. The piece was made by a potter who was highly aware of tea aesthetics and of the need to produce imperfect elements within a controlled framework. The areas of imperfection are here balanced by areas of total control and symmetry, for example, This bowl has a fascinating pedigree, as listed on the outermost paper wrapper. The inscription to the lower left describes the nature of the various layers of appreciation and inscriptions that have grown around this particular tea bowl. First of all, it describes the three-character ink inscription on the wooden box to have been written by a Hok , which we know to be one of the artist names used by the noted tea master, Kobori Enshu (1579167). The inscription goes on to say that a paper attachment (kakitsuke) has a four character inscription by a Sch, who is Kobori Sch Masayasu (176167), the eighth generation head of the Ensh school, originally founded by Ensh. Another layer in this trail of tea appreciation and tea bowl ownership is provided by the unidentified writer of this inscription, who, by tradition, does not write his own name.5 We can only assume that he was the owner of the tea bowl after Sch parted with it. The name of the bowl, Usumomiji, or pale autumn colors, likely refers to the unusual patterning of the glaze, which varies in color from creamy white to light red as one looks across the mottled surface of the bowl. The bowl seems to have been praised for the colors and for the poetic connotations that they would awaken, especially in the fall tea season. The word itself appears quite often in Japanese poetry and many poems use the word as a marker of the season and for creating specific settings with their deeper implications.2 In giving names to bowls, it was important to choose a name that would awaken poetic connotations, either to specific poems or to broader poetic sentiments.3 the finely carved foot with the janome kdai, or snake-eye foot, completed with a finely formed Kugibori carved nail pattern in the center, formed while turning on the potters wheel. The wabi aesthetics of incompletion are especially effective when areas of unbalance and spontaneity are contrasted with such areas of planned symmetry.


It is possible to match other evidence to these assertions. Ensh was known for his ability to provide poetic names and many examples of bowls that were named by him exist; moreover, the inscription on the box is done in his well-known calligraphic style. Also, Sch was known for his reinvigoration of the Ensh line, which had fallen into disrepair; he was known for his immense collection of tea utensils and also for his unusual running script calligraphic style.6 While we do see both the Ensh-like three-character inscription on the box and a Sch-like four-character inscription on a (now tattered) piece of paper that belongs to the top of it, other elements need to be taken into consideration before conclusions can be made. One is a list of objects in the collection of Ensh, the Ensh kurach , which is a long list of items owned by Ensh and his son, as written by Kobori Sjitsu, the third generation head. Our bowl is not listed on this document. Also, the age of the ceramic bowl itself, is more likely to be eighteenth century than seventeenth century. One possible conclusion is that the bowl was given a name and a box by someone before Sch, who gave the bowl a box in the style of Ensh. The Sch inscription could be genuine and the anonymous owner after Sch may have interpreted the calligraphy as being that of Ensh. The tea ceremony is celebrated for its ability to give layers of meaning to objects and rituals. Sometimes the layers harmonize with each other and at other times there are contradictions. This bowl is a case in point: the bowl itself has taken on layers after frequent use over two centuries and the staining by tea has now changed the original appearance of the bowl and glaze. Likewise, the layering of provenance provides layers of meaning surrounding the bowl within its box: here, the link of previous owners includes a misinterpretation of one and the lack of identity of another. The complexity of meaning in the tea ceremony itself is here aptly echoed in this fine Hagi bowl that continues to echo the pale colors of early autumn.


17 Takatori chawan
Edo period (161516), 1th century H 2 ", D 5 " (7.2 cm, 13.5 cm) With inscribed kiri wood box This Takatori tea bowl (chawan) was created by the descendants of Korean laborers taken from Korea during the Japanese invasions in the 1590s. The Korean potter Palsan (later given the Japanese name Takatori Hachiz) left Korea with his wife and family and set up a kiln in the domain of Kuroda Nagamasa, forming the origin of the Takatori kiln.1 In the process of the next generations, the Takatori line of potters was in charge of a number of kilns in the domain throughout the Edo period. At the time of the production of this tea bowl, the third-generation Takatori Hachiz was in charge of the Higashi Sarayama Kiln, where tea utensils were made.2 This kiln, which was modeled on Korean climbing kilns, is the likely source of this bowl. The Takatori potters combined Korean technology with Japanese tea aesthetics; the first generation Hachiz even traveled to Kyoto with his son to receive instructions in tea ceramics from the famous tea master Kobori Ensh (1579167) and their tea ceramics bear the traces of the tastes of the Kyoto tea masters.3 This tea bowl bears the marks of the type of clay used at Higashi Sarayama, which was highly refined to a density and strength approaching that of porcelain. The glazes applied on the bowl are also typical to the Takatori tea wares; these glazes were thick and of various colors and consistencies, mainly produced by mixing different minerals, ashes, and stones. The glazes were then applied to the objects and mixed in a rich tapestry of colors. The yellow-gold glaze forming the central glaze on this tea bowl is called the dkeiy and is one of the more famous of the Takatori glaze types. The glaze application method is also typical for Takatori wares: broad bands are applied and allowed to run down the sides, producing mutations in colors where glazes mix and a drop design along its bottom edge. On this bowl, some areas on the outside did not get covered with glaze. In the tea world, such places of imperfection are considered to imbue a tea object with its own personality; and, rather than detractions, they are seen as the embodiment of tea ceremony aesthetics of rusticity, incompletion, and astringency.5


18 Shino Serving Bowl

Momoyama (15731615) to early Edo period (1615 - 16), first half of 17th century H 2 " L 6" W 6" (5.7 cm 15.3 cm 15.3 cm) Stoneware with underglaze iron. With kiri wood box inscribed Shino Perforated Small Bowl This small Shino bowl was made for the kaiseki section of the tea ceremony, in which guests were served from small dishes filled with various refined dishes. This vessel was created through a number of separate steps. It was initially thrown on the wheel and then sculpted by hand. Three loop feet were then added to the bowl and it bears traces of spur marks on both the top and the bottom of the bowl, indicating that it was fired as a stack of smaller bowls and dishes. The stoneware vessel was then covered with a thick feldsparic glaze, which fired milky-white over a simple iron decoration that had been applied with a brush.1 The design on the upper surface of the bowl is separated into two zones. The inner, round area is decorated with a simple motif of three flying plovers (chidori) on a blank ground. In Japanese visual culture, plovers are almost always paired with waves,2 and the lack of waves on this design is at first puzzling until one notices the fine under-glaze kugibori Similar Shino bowls and dishes were often made in sets of five and ten and used in the tea ceremony, during the kaiseki meal.5 This particular type of bowl would have been appreciated as a kaiseki vessel for a number of reasons. First, as stated above, for its visually appealing, sophisticated design. Second, for ease of use: the central area could easily hold a small amount of food without spilling, the three feet giving the vessel stability. In addition, the uneven surface of the vessel, with its heavy glaze, would have provided a pleasantly tactile surface to hold during the meal. Finally, the bowl would have created an interesting temporal program: when food was served, the food would have been in the center of the bowl, framed by the outer zone with the design of vines and fruit. Upon eating the food, the central design of the plovers become gradually visible, and, when the food was entirely gone, the indented central wave would suddenly become visible, perhaps accented by the foods liquid runoff settling in the wave-shaped indentation. The bowl carries yet another association as both the plover / wave design and that of the vines/grapes carry an autumnal association. This Shino bowl would have been an ideal vessel to serve that important guest at the autumn tea setting.6 The second zone of decoration is on the rim. The decoration here is formed of quickly-drawn, stylized vines, curling out from two diagonally opposed corners. Two other sides are marked with series of parallel lines along the edges of the vessel. The fine perforated design of round clusters are placed close to the vines and may well represent clusters of fruit, such as the grape.3 While the design appears simple and spontaneous, it is in fact highly sophisticated. Such a design could easily be imagined to have been ordered by a tea master or artist with a keen sense of play and visual design. carved nail indentation in the center of this area: this indentation forms a single curving wave in the middle of the three birds. The viewer is rewarded for looking closely and the puzzle is now solved.


19 Ko-Seto Vase
Muromachi period (13921573), 15th century H 9 ", D 6 " (2.5 cm, 16.7 cm) Stoneware with green wood-ash glaze With inscribed kiri wood box This early stoneware vase stems from a Seto ware kiln, near the present city of Seto, in present-day Aichi Prefecture. The vase, which has been formed on a potters wheel, is elegantly shaped in the meibing shape with a gradual outward curvature as one goes up the object. The vase ends in a firm shoulder and a generous neck and mouth, the latter with a large midriff. The vase has been decorated with three sets of lines (again, while on the wheel) on the mid-body, on the edge of the shoulder and halfway between the second line and the mouth. There is no stamped decoration; rather, through a generous application of ash-glaze, small rivulets of olive-green glaze (caused by the reductive kiln) run down the sides of the vase.1 This particular piece is in excellent condition with only a small chip on the mouth that has been repaired with gold lacquer. The Seto kiln is traditionally seen as one of the Six Old Kilns, taken to be the six medieval kilns active in Japan at the time. Later research has shown that there were a much larger number of kilns active at this time, including Suzu ware, which also appears in this catalog. According to tradition, the Seto kiln was founded by one man, a Kat Kagemasa, who traveled to China in 1223 and learned the Chinese way of producing ceramics. Upon returning to Japan and the Seto area, he set up production here. No matter whether a historical Kat Kagemasa existed or not, it certainly seems true that Chinese and Korean ceramics played a large role in the early history of the kiln, as many of the first products were imitations of foreign luxury objects. Tenmoku bowls from China were imitated as were Celadon vases from Korea and China. The Seto kiln also seems to have been one of the most favored kilns at the time, judging from the A foremost ceramic expert, Katsura Matasabur (1901196) has certified this particular piece to have come from the Seto kiln and to date to the mid-Muromachi period.7 His certificate, including the size of the vase, and his signature and seals, is placed on the underside of the kiri box lid. This type of vase was used for storing liquids for both religious and non-religious occasions. The pronounced midriff on the neck allowed ropes and stiff paper to be tied to the top for a close seal over the plug. An earlier type of Ko-Seto vases with similar forms were produced in the Kamakura period (1151392). This earlier type, however, had various stamped patterns, whereas the type seen in this entry was without the stamped designs and is seen to stem from the Muromachi period (13921573).6 This particular vase was made in the imitation of Chinese Yingqing ware porcelain vases from the Jingdezhen area.2 The type of vase was the meibing (lit. lotus blossom) type that were imported to Japan at this time.3 As the Japanese potters could not produce porcelains at the time, the next best solution was to produce stoneware with a thick wood-ash glaze to give the impression of a celadon porcelain vase. These vases have in the past been discarded by some commentators as mere imitations. Recently, however, persuasive arguments have been made for the aesthetic values of these remarkable objects. It is important to remember that the act of copying in East Asia is significantly different than that in the West, and it is likely that the imitations were seen as acts of homage to the luxurious imports from exotic places.5 Seto ware excavated throughout the country, and it is entirely possible that the Asihikaga shogunate government in the city of Kamakura was a close sponsor of the kiln in its earlier days. As the government also largely controlled the importation of luxury vessels from outside Japan, it made excellent economic sense for the government to also control the production of the Japanese imitations.


20 Suzu Jar with Paddled Design

Kamakura period (1151392), 13th century H 13 ", D 11 " (33.5 cm, 29 cm) Stoneware with natural ash glaze The Suzu kilns were located on the northern tip of the Noto peninsula in present-day Ishikawa Prefecture, on the coast of the Japan Sea. The kilns are thought to be a development of the medieval Sueki ware culture, a type of ceramics closely related to Korean prototypes that once spread across Japan.1 Some scholars have posited that the production of the Suzu ware with its characteristic sandy clay, dark gray coloring, and egg-shaped vessels, was initiated by Korean potters that had arrived in the twelfth century from the Korean peninsula, not very far from the Noto area.2 Whatever the origins of the kilns, the kilns enjoyed sponsorship by religious institutions and aristocratic families, partly through the large Wakayama manor on the same peninsular. Through these connections Suzu vessels spread widely: vessels have been excavated from numerous places along the western coast of Japan, reaching as far as southern Hokkaido. The first pieces of Suzu ware that clearly differenciated from Sueki ware can be placed in the twelfth century during the late Heian period (79115) and the last pieces in the fifteenth century during the Muromachi period (13921573). After this period, the kilns were abandoned, perhaps due to intense competition from the nearby Echizen and Tokoname kilns. This outstanding jar dates from the thirteenth century, which, judging from the relatively large number of pieces produced at this time, was a period of high activity for the Suzu kilns.3 The pieces from this period often display a highly developed paddling technique (tataki ) where wooden paddles with incised lines are beaten on the still-soft clay, resulting in a distinct appearance, often likened to plowing marks or pinecones. On well-designed pots, the resulting texture alternates seamlessly between areas of horizontal lines and diagonal lines, and this particular pot is notable for carrying this technique The Suzu kilns have gained considerable attention since the discovery of the kiln site in the 1950s and Suzu objects are now eagerly collected by museums and collectors. Although the kilns were discontinued during the Muromachi period, the area has since fund new ceramic life as numerous potters have now set up businesses in the Noto peninsula, in attempts to renew the lost traditions of the Suzu kilns.6 A distinctive kiln mark can be seen on the shoulder of this work in the form of three arcs that form a circle. Marks such as this, possibly made from the carved end of a bamboo stick, are sometimes found on Suzu vessels of this period. Specialists have speculated on the exact meaning of these marks; theories often center on possible religious functions of the vessels.5 It is certainly possible that this particular vessel with its sophisticated and carefullydone design may also have been created as a commission for a special religious ceremony. to a high point of technical sophistication. As usual with works of this type, the outline of the jar, an egg standing on its thin end, displays traces of the clay coils from which the upper part of the body was formed on top of a sculpted base. The outwardopening short mouth of the jar is segmented into two parallel parts and successfully counter-balances the widening shape of the jar beneath it. This jar does not display the heavy ash glaze of other contemporary kilns, such as Tamba or Shigaraki, but rather a thin glaze with traces of white spotting from ash that fell on the parts of the body that were exposed during the reductive firing.


21 Shigaraki Jar
Muromachi period (13921573), 15th century H 1 ", D 15 " (7 cm, 39 cm) Stoneware with natural ash glaze This stoneware jar stems from the Shigaraki region, a mountainous area in the modern-day Shiga Prefecture, to the southeast of Kyoto. The jar embodies a sense of austere beauty and a tour-de-force display of surface detail, including firing spots, stone inclusions, cracks and melted minerals throughout the vessel. The construction of this bulbous, generously bulging jar echoes that of other jars from this period: from its silhouette, it becomes clear that the jar was created in four rounds of clay-coil construction, where the clay was allowed to partially dry between applications. The neck and mouth was added at the end, on the strongly articulated shoulder. As the jar was not turned on a potters wheel, its asymmetry displays a complex sense of movement, partly balanced by the firm base, made larger than the mouth. Reading the surface of the jar provides us with a close, blow-by-blow history of its firing process. The dramatic color patterns on the jar shows us where the jar was placed within the kiln: where it was partly exposed directly to the fire (the dark koge spots), where partly exposed to fire without being touched by it (the lighter browns), and where it was placed right next to other ceramic vessels (the light oranges). In this last group of light spots, it is possible to locate sections where a ceramic object next to the jar actually touched it during firing and became fused together the resulting chip occurred when the two vessels were separated after the firing. In addition, the large amounts of ash from the burning pine wood settled on the vessel during firing and created a pattern of gray glazes. Here, too, it is possible to map out the location of the jar within the kiln: from the amount of glaze, we can see which side of the jar faced the fire at the front of the kiln and we can tell from areas untouched by glaze, where objects shielded the jar from the ash-carrying wind that blew at high speeds through the kiln. The broken mouth The Shigaraki kiln was thought to be one of the Six Ancient Kilns that were thought active during medieval Japan.2 We know now from excavations that dozens of other kilns were also active during this time, including the Suzu kiln, and that the medieval ceramic world was quite complex and differentiated. Shigaraki kilns, however, were one of the kiln sites to gain fame from an early date, partly due to its proximity to the capital city of Kyoto, and partly due to the many tea masters, from the sixteenth century onwards, who actively promoted the ceramics from this area. Prior to the discovery of the kiln by the tea aficionados, however, the Shigaraki kilns made unpretentious objects for local farmers, merchants, and religious institutions.3 Their jars were used primarily for storage, for storing food and seeds for the next season, and for Buddhist rites, for example, for burials and the storing of ritual objects. The surface of the jar, with its warm, glowing mosaic of earth tones and textures presents the viewer with an exciting spectacle of spontaneous events. As the clay used in this unpretentious country kiln was largely unfiltered, many pieces of rocks and minerals became exposed during the construction and the firing. Larger pebbles appear in the surface, sometimes (in the case of feldspar and quartz) fusing and partly melting away. Other times, producing minor explosions during the firing, leaving a burst pattern in the clay. Yet in other places are holes, where pebbles were forced out of the hardening clay during the firing process.1 of this vessel possibly also occurred through the spontaneous accidents of the firing process.



22 Stacked Writing Box with Quails

Kda Shetsu (121933) Taish period (19121926), 1920s H 7" L 13" W 9" (1 cm 32.7 cm 22.5 cm) Signed: Shetsu saku (Made by Shetsu) With fitted kiri wood box, inscribed by the artist. This finely executed stacked writing box (suzuribako) is composed of a lower box for paper and an upper box for recessed ink stone and water dropper. On the outside is the finely delineated design of seven quails, two on the upper lid and five around the four sides. The quails, a symbol of autumn, are crafted in gold takamakie with a high degree of naturalism and are shown peacefully flocking in nature, forraging for food on the roiro mirror-black lacquer ground of the box exterior. The box interior is formed by a textile pattern in the togidashi technique on a nashiji ground; the design playfully alludes to the fine brocade silk interiors of many writing boxes. The artist, Kda Shetsu, was the author of an important book on lacquer design, and that expertise seems to have come to good use in deciding the particular textile pattern that would fit with the overall design of the box.1 The forms of the box are placed in a dynamic balance between the angular forms of the water pourer, the ink stone, and the outer box, and the softly rounded shapes of the abstract flower designs and the quails. The artist has hidden his signature inside the writing box, beneath the ink stone, which must be Shetsu took part in numerous major exhibitions, starting with the exhibition in 1915 to mark the seventh anniversary of his fathers death. In 1920, he, together with Akazuka Jitoku (1711936), took part in the first Tokyo exhibition, which was one of the more important exhibitions of the Taish period (19121926). And in 1932 he was selected by the government to take part in a large governmentsponsored exhibition for export of the arts. Shetsus works are in many major institutions, including the Tokyo National Museum. removed for the identity of the artist to be known. Kda Shetsu (121933) was a major twentieth-century Kyoto lacquer artist. He was born into a family of lacquer artists, his father being the fifth-generation lacquer artist Yamamoto Rihei (139190), and he became one of the leading lacquer artists of his generation. He actively took part in national and regional exhibitions and in forming artist organizations to further the work of fellow lacquer artists. He was one of the artists to take part in the influential Kshuen (Fragrant Lacquer Garden) under the direction of Asai Ch (1561907) in 1906. In 1927 he formed Kgei Shunssha (Spring Grasses Society of the Arts) together with Ida Ksh and in 1930, he took was the leading force behind the formation of the Kinki Shukka Kykai (The Kinki-Area Lacquer Artist Association), which dissolved following his untimely death three years later.


23 Box with Pines and Sakura Blossoms

Taish period (19121926) H 5" L 15" W 13" (12.9 cm 3.2 cm 32. cm) With fitted black lacquer kiri wood box The anonymous designer of this spectacular lacquer box for paper documents (ryoshibako) designed the box with a finely detailed dcor of pines and blossoming cherry trees across its outer surfaces. Moreover, he has divided the top cover into two opposing sections, the lower right being occupied by pine trees among flowering plants and the upper left showing a misty landscape with flowering cherry trees, pine trees, and smaller flowering plants. The plants are detailed with the most luxurious gold lacquer effects, including details in makie, takamakie and kirigane techniques on kinpun and nashiji ground. The cover opens to reveal generous profusions of autumnal grasses and flowers in takamakie and kirigane on nashiji and kinpun clouds. Myriad types of fall flowers are represented, including the hagi, kuzu, sekichiku, Suzuki, kiky, and otokoeshi, all The seasons of the plants were calculated to represent a contrast of the inside and outside: as the winter and spring seasons are represented on the outside, so the autumn season will contrast on the inside. The beginning of the year is represented by the buoyant spring scene on the front, while the autumn intimates the coming end of the year. And rather than inviting the viewer to look at individual details, the artist has elected to go for massive effects: the rich sweeps of plants, both outside and inside the box, stand in order to impress the overwhelming richness of design and sheer profusion of gold details and techniques. traditionally seen as symbolic plants of the autumn. To finish the box design, the artist has had the lacquered edges of the top and bottom halves encased in heavy silver rims. No expense is spared in producing the most luxurious effects. The only place left devoid of design is the inside bottom, which was purposely left bare, as this is where the documents were meant to be stored.


24 Box with Plum Blossoms

Taish period (19121926) H 5" L 15 " W 12 " (12.3 cm 39.7 cm 31 cm) With inscribed fitted kiri wood box The moment of triumph for the plum is often deInscription on lacquer box: Uguisu no haru Spring of the bush warbler This large black lacquer box for paper documents (ryoshibako) displays a thick takamakie dcor of a flowering plum branch surrounded by straw and inlaid mother-of-pearl characters in the lower right upper left corners. The flowering plum tree is a symbol of perseverance of the tree in winters cold, and of the dying winter and of the spring which is fast approaching. The dramatic moment of triumph against the cold is further emphasized by the stark, mirror-black roiro background surrounding the flowers and by the straw, which has been wrapped around the plum tree trunk in order to keep it from dying in the frost. The inside of the document box The box comes with the original kiri wood box, which, according to an attached label, belonged originally to the Taish Emperor before it was given as a present, to mark the anniversary of his death in the spring of 1927, the second year of the new Shwa reign. If this is indeed the case, then the design of the cover plays perfectly along with the occasion: the inscription, the spring of the bush warbler, refers to a new start, the regeneration of a something old and venerable, and, here, the plum could be seen as the ancient Japanese imperial line and the new spring, heralded by the uguisu, is the ascent to the throne of the new Shwa emperor. picted in the form of the uguisu or bush warbler, perched on the branches of the flowering plum. In this case, the bird appears to be absent, but, in fact, the two symbols, the plum and uguisu, are united in the form of the mother-of-pearl character for the word uguisu, which is located next to the lower right of the branch. Here, then, a word takes the part of an image, and the symbolic pair is united in two different media. has a relatively simple design of bamboo leaves by a flowing stream, which could also be interpreted as a winter design.


25 Ketsu Lacquer Box with Poem

Ishikawa Rseki , 3rd generation (1950) Heisei period (199present), 1996 H 3 " L  " W  " (.2 cm 22 cm 22 cm) With fitted wood box inscribed on top: Kazaribako: Ketsu utsushi suminoe makie Ornamental Box: Copy of Krins Lacquer Suminoe. Inscription on side of fitted box: Heian Shish Rseki z Made by Kyoto Lacquer Master Rseki Inscription on lacquer box: Does my bellowed / avoid the eyes of others / Even on dream paths / visited by night as [waves] / Visit Suminoe [shore]? 1 Copying lacquer works of prior masters was a timehonored tradition in Japan, and there are many records of such events, partly caused by the high Suminoe no / [kishi] ni yoru [nami] / yoru sae ya / yume no kayoiji / hitome yoguramu This display box has a complex decoration and history. As for the decoration, a raging sea with wild waves in hiramakie technique is pounding over a shoreline carefully formed by fitted lead plates using the ikakeji and kakewari techniques. The characters of the poem are in silver takamakie. The poem winds its way around the box, starting on the top and going down, right to left. The third line is placed in the lower left corner, and the last two lines run around the sides of the box. There are two omissions, however, as the words for kishi rocky shore and nami waves are not included in words, but are instead placed next to places with actual depictions of the objects, the images taking the place of the words. Thus the artist creates a witty and sophisticated design where the cover speaks through lacquer, poetry, words, and images, all in one. The history of this box is also complex. A lacquer box by Ketsu (1551637), now lost, was the original of this design, hence the title of this lacquer box. The third generation Ishikawa Rseki (1950 ), a lacquer artist active in Kyoto today, is known for his creative recreations of major lacquer works from the Momoyama and early Edo periods.5 According to the artist, he sees the act of recreating a famous work as an act of homage to the master who originally made the work.6 Beside the obvious aesthetic appeal and high level of technical craftsmanship of his version of Ketsu and Krin, the present work is important for illustrating the process of transferring (and altering) designs of older masterpieces, and the act of creating, in the process, new visions in art.7 incidence of fire and the likelihood of masterpieces going entirely lost if not replicated. Documented examples of such events include the famous set of notes written by Kami Nagasuki (16611723), when he was asked by the Shogunate to make a faithful copy of a box with a plum branch design, originally made by Kami Michikiyo (1321500).3 Likewise, industrialists such as Iwasaki Koyota, (the fourth president of the Mitsubishi and one of the founders of the Seikad Foundation) were known for commissioning copies of key works in their collections from artists and artisans. Yet Rseki did not see the original box by Ketsu but rather a copy that Ogata Krin (1651716) had made of the original. This copy is now in the Seikad Foundation and comes with an inscription by Krin saying that he saw the original box in Ketsus home in Takagamine.2 Moreover, the copy that Krin made was clearly not an exact copy as we see distinct elements of Krins pictorial style in the depiction of the waves. Furthermore, Rseki, when making his copy of the Krin copy, also made transformations, changing, for one thing, a writing box with utensils to a display box. So we have a copy of a copy of an original, where both copies changed elements of the original.


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Nr.1FlowersoftheFourSeasons 1 See Kno Motoaki. Ogata Krin. Nihon bijutsu kaiga zensh, vol. 17. (Tokyo: Sheisha, 1976), ill. 17; Minamoto Toyomune and Hashimoto Ayako, eds. Tawaraya Statsu. Nihon bijutsu kaiga zensh, vol. 1. (Tokyo: Sheisha, 1976), cat nr. 6; Takeda, Tsuneo, et al. Nihon bybue shsei. (Tokyo: Kdansha, 19771), VII, 51 and 95 / 6; and Yamane Yz and Kobayashi Tadashi, eds. Nihon no bi: Rimpa ten zuroku. (Tokyo: NHK Promotion, 1996), cat. nr. 17. 1 See Asano Shgs article in Kobayashi Tadashi, ed. Manno Bijutsukan, Ukiyoe nikuhitsu taikan, vol. 7. Nr.3FanScreenwithScenesfromtheTales of Ise 1 Minamoto Toyomune and Hashimoto Ayako, eds. Tawaraya Statsu. Nihon bijutsu kaiga zensh, vol. 1. (Tokyo: Sheisha, 1976), cat nrs. 12 and 23. 2 A diary entry from 13 by Fushimi no Miya Sadafusa, in his Kanmon gyoki mentions such a screen, with 5 fans pasted on a screen with a depiction of flowing water. See also Minamoto and Hashimoto, cat. nr. , for an example by Statsu. 2 Also called Takeda Harunobu and 3 Yamane Yz and Kobayashi Tadashi, eds. Nihon no bi: Rimpa ten zuroku. (Tokyo: NHK Promotion, 1996), cat. nr. 16. Other examples are fan screens where all fans had depictions of or allusions to famous sites. Koga bik has Hasegawa Mitsunobu . Another well used artist name was Shsuiken . Eishun had a very long career, anchored by an early handscroll dated 170 (illustrated in Kokka 76) and works dated up to 1763. See also Shimada Shjir, ed. Zaigai hih. 6 vols. (Tokyo: Gakush Kenkysha, 1969), 2, 39, for a discussion of Nr.4CranesofSummerandAutumn 1(Tosa shgen Mitsuoki hitsu) this artist. 3 See Shimada, 1, ill. 3; and also a handscroll illustrated in Kokka 76. Nr.5FourElegantPastimes Nr.7HakuinEkaku:Daruma 1 For images of the Hikone Screen, see, Hikonej Hakubutsukan, ed. Ii-ke denrai no meih: kinsei daimy no bi to kokoro. (Hikone: Hikone-shi Kyiku Iinkai, 1993), 25. 1 The full title of the sutra is and the above phrase appears as the eight rule in a set of ten admonitions for Buddhist followers: T. .9b. This influential (Tokyo: Kodansha, 1996), cat. nr. 32. This type of early fire-extinguisher was common to the Yoshiwara district. However, the identity should not be identified too firmly as the Yoshiwara, since the artist may also be describing an expansive restaurant with garden, establishments that were gaining popularity at this time, or he may be describing a generic pleasure quarter, of which there were many, not only in Edo and the eastern regions, but also in western Japan, from where the artist originally came. Nr.6FlowerViewinginthePleasureQuarters 3 See reference in Gke, vol. 1, 211 and Yoshiya and Yamamoto, 97. 2 See also Ishida Yoshiya and Yamamoto Yukari, eds. Delightful Pursuits: Highlights from the Lee Institute for Japanese Art at the Clark Center. (Tokyo: Nihon Keizai Shimbun, 2002), 967.


phrase reoccurs in numerous other Japanese Buddhist writings, for example, in Nichirens Reply to the Lay Monk Soya . 2 For a study on the legendary nature and historicity of Bodhidharma, see Yanagida Seizan. Daruma. (Tokyo: Kdansha, 191).

2 See images, for example, in Nihon Ishi Gakkai, ed. Zuroku Nihon iji shiry shsei (Tokyo: Mitsui Shob, 191), vol. 5, 1115. 3 Takeuchi Naoji. Hakuin. (Tokyo: Chikuma Shob, 196), Addendum, 1. 4 For example, the early 1th century encyclopedic

3 The ink was allowed to pool and naturally formed concentric circles around small pieces of unground ink. The pooling effect can also be seen within the characters of the inscription.

publication, Terashima Ryan. Wakan sansai zue. (Tokyo: Tokyo Bijutsu, 1970), vol. 1, 202, describe him in a text, as having a head of an ox. 5 For Hakuins visions of the Hakutaku, see

4 See, for example, Takeuchi Naoji. Hakuin. (Tokyo: Chikuma Shob, 196), 33233, and 337, and Morita Shiry. Bokubi Tokush: Hakuin Bokuseki. (Kyoto: Bokubisha, 190), 150. 5 See, for example, Jan Fontain and Money Hickman. Zen: Painting & Calligraphy. (Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, 1970), 1023. 6 See, Takeuchi, addendum, 9; Fontain and Hickman, 103; Kat Shshun and Fukushima Shun. Zenga no sekai. (Kyoto: Tanksha, 197), 36, 1, 99, 159, and 15; and Zen Bunka Kenkyjo. Bodhidharma Exhibition. (Tokyo: Isetan, 19), cat. nr. 26, 3133, and . 7 Takeuchi, 6.

Takeuchi, 01. See also current Hakutaku research by Donald Harper. 6 The creative changes within Hakuins Hamaguri Kannon paintings is the subject of an upcoming article by the author. 7 Besides this image, at least three Hakuin depictions of Shennong are known to be extant: two are depicted in Takeuchi, 7 and 79 and a third exists in the Shin-waan Collection, Japan.

Nr.16HagiTeaBowl,NamedUsumomiji PaleFallColors 1 For a discussion of wabi aesthetics, see Haga,

8 See Takeuchi, Addendum, 9 and also ibid, cat nr. 33 for a Menpeki Daruma in the gu character that had been in Guds private collection.

Kshir, The Wabi Aesthetic throughout the Ages in Tea in Japan: Essays on the History of Chanoyu. Kumakura Isao and Paul Varley, eds. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 199, 195230.

Nr.8HakuinEkaku:GodofAgriculture 1 Shennong was described the fist time in a th century BCE text, He was further elaborated by the Tang historian Sima Qian (1590 BCE) in his , where he is first described as having detailed knowledge of medicine and the hundred medicinal herbs.

2 For example, a poem by Nozawa Bonch (160? 171) in Bashs anthology Saruminosh (1691, vol. 3): Hada samushi takekiri yama no usumomiji (my skin grows cold / the pale autumn colors / of the bamboo cutters mountains. In this case, the words refer to the season: as bamboo are typically cut down in the eighth month, when the fall colors are not yet fully developed, hence pale. The sense of paleness also implies a sense of distance, to the far-


away bamboos and the workers who cut them. 3 For a useful discussion of this phenomenon, see Yagi Ichio. Uta-mei: The Poetic Names of Tea Utensils. Chanoyu Quarterly 3 (1996), 160. 4 See, for example, the secret records of Ensh, preserved at the Secret Transmissions of Hok , one of the four tea transmissions Chad shiso densho . Published in the Chad koten ssho series, edited by Matsuya Hisashige, Matsuyama Yonetar, and Kumakura Isao (Kyoto: Shibunkaku, 197). 5 For the various traditions associated with the inscriptions on boxes and documents, see two articles by Louise Allison Cort. Looking at White Dew. Chanoyu Quarterly 3 (195), 36, and The Kizaemon Teabowl Reconsidered: The Making of a Masterpiece. Chanoyu Quarterly 71 (1992), 730.

2 In contrast to the Nishi Sarayama, which made utilitarian objects. For details, see Takeshi Nagatake. Agano, Takatori. (Tokyo: Heibonsha, 1975), 595 and 13610; and Andrew Maske. A Brief History of Takatori Ware. Originally published on Morgan Pitelkas Japanese Ceramics website. See also his upcoming book: Takatori Ware: Potters and Patrons in Edo Japan. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Council on East Asian Studies Publications, 2006). 3 Nagatake, 1167, 13. 4 Maske, A Brief History. 5 For a discussion of tea aesthetics, see Haga, Kshir, The Wabi Aesthetic throughout the Ages in Tea in Japan: Essays on the History of Chanoyu. Kumakura, Isao and Paul Varley, eds. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 199, 195230

Nr.18ShinoServingBowl 6 For examples of the two, see Oda Eiichi. Chad no hako to hakogakii (Kyoto: Tanksha, 2003), 95. 1 Shino ware is thought to have been the first ceramic type in Japan to have decoration applied by brush. Nr.17TakatoriTeaBowl 1 Many Japanese warlords took Korean potters and other laborers with them back to Japan. For example, the daimy of Hirado, Satsuma, Nabeshima took with them 125, 0, and a large number of Korean laborers, there amongst potters. For details on the Korean Takatori potters, see Andrew Maske. The Continental Origins of Takatori Ware: The Introduction of Korean Potters and Technology to Japan through the Invasions of 1592159. Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan th ser., 9 (199), 361. Andrew Maske posits that, since Palsan left Korea with his family and received a generous stipend, he must have left voluntarily. However, this does not necessarily follow. 4 Japanese scholars have claimed that the Shino designs derive entirely from native sources. See, for 3 The grape was a non-native plant, but was wellknown through its appearance in Chinese paintings and through references in classical Chinese literature. Another possibility is the yamabud, a native Japanese vinous plant with small fruits, somewhat similar to the grape. 2 Influence of Kakinomoto Hitomaro and his poem in the Manysh: O plovers, flying over the evening waves, / On the lake of mi, / When you cry, my heart grows heavy, / With memories of by-gone days. Nippon Gakujutsu Shinkkai. The Manysh. (New York and London: Columbia University Press, 1965), 50.

example, Tadanari Mitsuoka. Momoyama jidai no tgei. Sekai tki kza. Nihon section. (Tokyo: Yzankaku, 1972), 2, 2, 12. Japanese sources do seem to predominate, and this bowl is such an example. However, other sources, such as the imported Chinese Tianqi porcelain plates may also have influences Shino designs through their simply drawn, but sophisticated designs, especially as they were also used in the kaiseki section of the tea ceremony. 5 Similar bowls and dishes can be seen in many museums, for example, Barbara Brennan Ford and Oliver Impey. Japanese Art from the Getty Collection in The Metropolitan Museum. (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 199), 53; Lorna Price, ed. A Thousand Cranes: Treasures of Japanese Art. (Seattle: Seattle Art Museum, 197), 205; Edmund Capon, et al. Japan: Masterpieces from the Idemitsu Collection. (Sydney: International Cultural Corporation of Australia, 192), 1367; and Yoshiko Kakudo. The Art of Japan: Masterworks in the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco. (San Francisco: Asian Art Museum and Chronicle Books, 1991), 1669. 6 For an English-language summary of the kaiseki meal, see Hiroichi Tsutsui. The History of the Kaiseki Meal. Chanoyu Quarterly 78 (199), 76.

3 See example excavated at Ehime Castle in Tsugio Mikami. The Art of Japanese Ceramics. (New York and Tokyo: Weatherhill, 1972), 2. 4 Soame Jenyns writes: Seto kilns attempts to copy these [Chinese] celadon wares were a failure. It was impossible to imitate these successfully with the clay that was available. They only achieved a brownish olive-green glaze, which, owing to the over-lavish application of wood ash, coagulated and ran down the surface of the vessels in rivulets, giving them a curiously mottled and wrinkled appearance. Japanese Pottery. (London: Faber and Faber, 197), 1. 5 See, for the aesthetics of imitation Koga Kenz, Utsushi: The Aesthetics of Imitation. Chanoyu Quarterly 67 (1991), 73. 6 Numerous examples of both types can be found in museum collections. For the Kamakura types, see: Barbara Brennan Ford and Oliver Impey. Japanese Art from the Getty Collection in The Metropolitan Museum. (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 199), ; Okuda Naoshige. Ko-Seto. Nihon tji taikan, vol. 6. (Tokyo: Heibonsha, 199), ills. 127; Hakone Museum of Art. Hakone Bijutsukan: kansh tebiki. (Atami: MOA Museum of Art, 192), ill. 22; and Lorna Price, ed. A Thousand Cranes: Treasures of Japanese Art. (Seattle: Seattle Art Museum,

Nr.19Ko-SetoVase 1 In an oxidizing kiln, the glaze would turn dark olive brown. See color examples of both types in: Joe Earle, ed. The Toshiba Gallery: Japanese Art and Design. (London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 196), ills. 11 and 12. 2 A number of other similarly-shaped vases were made from other models, such as vases from China and Korea. Points of differentiation were the size and form of the mouth and the slope of the shoulder. See the various styles in Okuda Naoshige. Ko-Seto. Nihon tji taikan, vol. 6. (Tokyo: Heibonsha, 199), ills. 127

197), 200. Examples of the Muromachi type can be seen in: Edmund Capon, et al. Japan: Masterpieces from the Idemitsu Collection. (Sydney: International Cultural Corporation of Australia, 192), 1301; and Louise Allison Cort. Japanese Collections in the Freer Gallery of Art: Seto and Mino Ceramics. (Washington DC: Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution, 1992), 62. 7 Katsura wrote over thirty books on older Japanese ceramics and was seen as the worlds greatest authority on old Bizen ware.


8 The older inscription on the lid misdates the vase to the Kamakura period. It also states that the vase stems from an excavation.

Nr.21ShigarakiJar 1 Two jars with almost exactly the same forms, firing patterns, and proportions can be seen in Mitsuoka Tadanari. Shigaraki Iga. Nihon tji taikei, vol. .

Nr.20SuzuJarwithPaddledDesign 1 For a thorough discussion of this question, refer to Yoshioka Yasunobu. Chsei sueki no kenky. (Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kobunkan, 199). 2 Sawada posits that the Korean potters brought the tataki technique with them to the Noto peninsular. Sazawa Yoshiharu, Tokoname, Atsumi, Echizen, Suzu. Nihon tji taikei. Vol. 7. (Tokyo: Heibonsha, 199), p. 125. 3 Other examples of this period can be seen in Sazawa, ill. 5; Got Art Museum, Hokuriku no kot: Echizen, Suzu. (Tokyo: Nihon Kokusai Bijutsu Sent, 195), ills 71. Hakone Museum of Art. Hakone Bijutsukan: kansh tebiki. (Atami: MOA Museum of Art, 192), ill. 25. See also the collection of the Suzuyaki Shirykan, Ishikawa Prefecture. 4 A similar kiln mark formed of three circles can be seen in Got, ill. 79, and in Yoshioka, 0 (1135) and 10 (172). 5 Sawada suggests that the marks were intended as marks or devotion or as specific prayers. Some jars were indeed also used as containers for sutra burials. Sawada, 1256. 6 A museum now stands in the area: the Suzuyaki Shirykan offers visitors and locals publications and tours of the local history, ceramic traditions, and excavated objectswhile showing the works of contemporary artists. A clear attempt is made to unite the old and new traditions of Suzu ware.

(Tokyo: Heibonsha, 199), ill. 6, and Louise Allison Cort. Shigaraki, Potters Valley. (Tokyo, New York, and San Francisco: Kodansha International, 1979), ill. 2. 2 The Shigaraki area saw the production of sueki ware from the fifth to the twelfth centuries. The exact nature of contact between the sueki ware produced in the area and the succeeding Shigarakitype ceramics has not been established. Although a large number of ancient kilns have been excavated in the Shigaraki, none of the kilns of the Shigarakitype predate the Muromachi period. See Masahiko Kawahara. Shigaraki. Nihon tji zensh, vol. 12. (Tokyo: Ch Kransha, 1977), 50. 3 For examples of Shigaraki Jars from the same period in museum collections, see: Barbara Brennan Ford and Oliver Impey. Japanese Art from the Getty Collection in The Metropolitan Museum. (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 199), 67; Hakone Museum of Art. Hakone Bijutsukan: kansh tebiki. (Atami: MOA Museum of Art, 192), ills. 3135; Lorna Price, ed. A Thousand Cranes: Treasures of Japanese Art. (Seattle: Seattle Art Museum, 197), 200201; Edmund Capon, et al. Japan: Masterpieces from the Idemitsu Collection. (Sydney: International Cultural Corporation of Australia, 192), 1267; and Joe Earle, ed. The Toshiba Gallery: Japanese Art and Design. (London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 196), 3637.

Nr.22StackedWritingBoxwithQuails 1 Together with younger brother Gda Katei (161961), wrote the Ky makie monysh (Kyoto Lacquer Design Collection), published posthumously by the Kyoto publisher Tanksha in 190.


Nr.25KetsuLacquerBoxwithPoem 1 Poem 559 in the Kokin wakash. Above translation by Helen Craig McCullough in Kokin Wakash: The First Imperial Anthology. (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 195), 127. 2 See, for example, Seikad Foundation. Seikad Art Treasures. 2 vols. (Tokyo: Seikad Foundation, 1992), I, ill. 170 and II, 9. 3 These notes were themselves copied by Shibata Zeshin and we now have the copies of the notes, but not the originals, which are presumed to have been lost to fire. See Bijutsu Kenky 99 (190), 95509 and Andrew Pekarik. Japanese Lacquer, 16001900. (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 190), 1213. 4 See, for example, Christine Guth. Art, Tea, and Industry. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993). 5 Ishikawa Kometar, the first generation Rseki established his workshop in central Kyoto during 15 and was active until 19. Ishikawa Yasuji, the second generation relocated the shop to its present location in Fushimi, where the third generation Ishikawa Kji became head of the workshop in 1992. 6 Personal communication with the artist. 7 For the aesthetics of recreating famous works, see Koga Kenz, Utsushi: The Aesthetics of Imitation. Chanoyu Quarterly 67 (1991), 73.


Capon, Edmund, et al. Japan: Masterpieces from the Idemitsu Collection. Sydney: International Cultural Corporation of Australia, 192. Kakudo Yoshiko. The Art of Japan: Masterworks in Cort, Louise Allison. Japanese Collections in the Freer Gallery of Art: Seto and Mino Ceramics. Washington DC: Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution, 1992. Kat Shshun and Fukushima Shun. Zenga no Cort, Louise Allison. The Kizaemon Teabowl Reconsidered: The Making of a Masterpiece. Chanoyu Quarterly 71 (1992), 730. Cort, Louise Allison. Looking at White Dew. Chanoyu Quarterly 3 (195), 36. Cort, Louise Allison. Shigaraki, Potters Valley. Tokyo, New York, and San Francisco: Kodansha International, 1979. Earle, Joe, ed. The Toshiba Gallery: Japanese Art and Design. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 196. Fontain, Jan and Money Hickman. Zen: Painting & Calligraphy. Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, 1970. Ford, Barbara Brennan and Oliver Impey. Japanese Art from the Getty Collection in the Metropolitan Museum. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 199. Gke Tadaomi, ed. Shibata Zeshin meihinsh: Bakumatsu kaikaki no shikk kaiga. 2 vols. Tokyo: Gakken, 191 Got Art Museum, Hokuriku no kot: Echizen, Suzu. Tokyo: Nihon Kokusai Bijutsu Sent, 195. Haga Kshir. The Wabi Aesthetic throughout the Ages in Tea in Japan: Essays on the History of Chanoyu. Kumakura Isao and Paul Varley, eds. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 199, 195230. Maske, Andrew. Takatori Ware: Potters and Patrons in Edo Japan. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Council on East Asian Studies Publications, 2006, forthcoming. Mikami Tsugio. The Art of Japanese Ceramics. New York and Tokyo: Weatherhill, 1972. Maske, Andrew. The Continental Origins of Takatori Ware: The Introduction of Korean Potters and Technology to Japan through the Invasions of 1592159. Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan th ser., 9 (199), 361. Koga Kenz. Utsushi: The Aesthetics of Imitation. Chanoyu Quarterly 67 (1991), 73. Kumakura Isao, Matsuya Hisashige, and Matsuyama Yonetar, eds. Chad koten ssho. Kyoto: Shibunkaku, 197. Maske, Andrew. A Brief History of Takatori Ware. Originally published on Morgan Pitelkas Japanese Ceramics website. Kobayashi Tadashi, ed. Manno Bijutsukan, Ukiyoe nikuhitsu taikan, vol. 7 (Tokyo: Kodansha, 1996) Kawahara Masahiko. Shigaraki. Nihon tji zensh, vol. 12. Tokyo: Ch Kransha, 1977. sekai. Kyoto: Tanksha, 197. the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco. San Francisco: Asian Art Museum and Chronicle Books, 1991. Hakone Museum of Art. Hakone Bijutsukan: kansh tebiki. Atami: MOA Museum of Art, 192.


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Tokyo: Isetan, 19.


Erik Thomsen Asian Art Ernst-Ludwig-Strae 30 D-64625 Bensheim Germany Tel. +49 62 51 6 67 65 Fax +49 62 51 61 04 99 info@erikthomsen.com www.erikthomsen.com

erik thomsen japanese paintings and works of art 2006 Erik Thomsen Text Nr.19 and Nr.1625: Hans Bjarne Thomsen Photography: Klaus Wldele Design: Valentin Beinroth Production: Henrich Druck + Medien GmbH, Frankfurt am Main Printed in Germany