The Kura - Japanese Art Treasures
Robert Mangold has been working with Japanese antiques since 1995 with an emphasis on ceramics, Paintings, Armour and Buddhist furniture.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Folk Art : Pre 1920 item #1470454 (stock #MOR7111)
The Kura
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A shop sign carved from a block of knotted wood in the shape of a tea leaf jar engraved on both sides with the character Cha (Tea) originally gilded which still reflects light from the correct angle. A large knot making up one shoulder has split apart in the center, while the outside edge remains intact. A perfect example of the Japanese aesthetic of wabisabi. It is 32 x 3 x 32.5 cm (roughly 13 x 1 x 13 inches). The sign has been restored at some time in the past, the green and black pigments freshened up at the time.
All Items : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Porcelain : Pre 1940 item #1470786 (stock #TCR7109)
The Kura
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A dynamic early porcelain work in vivid color by Kiyomizu Rokubei VI enclosed in the original signed wooden box titled Futatsuki Kajutu Mon Kashiki (Sweets dish decorated with fruit) bearing his real name, indicating it predates his taking the name Rokubei in 1945. The box bears the seal of the Hattori Tokeiten, purveyors of fine art in Pre-war Japan. The porcelain is 19.7 cm (8 inches) diameter and in excellent condition, signed on the bottom.
The Kiyomizu family potters managed one of the most productive workshops in Kyoto’s Gojozaka district throughout the second half of the Edo period. From the Meiji they began producing tableware for export and special pieces for government-sponsored exhibitions under Rokubei IV. Rokubei V led the kiln into the 20th century, and his son, Rokubei VI (1901-1980), would assume lead in 1945, taking the kiln through the tumultuous years after the Second World War. He graduated the Kyoto Municipal School of Arts and Crafts, then the Kyoto Special School of Painting, before apprenticing under his father in 1925. He exhibited frequently and was often prized at the National Bunten, Teiten and Nitten Exhibits, where he later served as judge. He was also lauded abroad, in the USSR, France, Italy, Belgium and was appointed a member of the Japan Art Academy. In 1976 he was awarded the Order of Cultural Merit for his lifelong devotion to promoting Japanese pottery traditions. His works are held in numerous museums throughout the globe.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1900 item #1471840 (stock #OC053)
The Kura
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A long verse is incised into the side of this tea bowl by Otagaki Rengetsu. The poem reads:
Yorozuyo mo 10,000 ages
tae nu nagare to enduring the surge
shimetsu ran so well
sono kame no o no From Turtle Tail Mountain
yama no shitamizu. The water flows
The bowl is 12.2 cm (5 inches) diameter and in perfect condition. It comes wrapped in a silk cloth pouch, enclosed in an old box with original lid inside of which is a long verse. It has been appraised by the head priest of Jinkoin Tokuda Koen on a separate newer lid titled Rengetsu Ro-ni saku Chawan.
Otagaki Rengetsu was born into a samurai family, she was adopted into the Otagaki family soon after birth, and served as a lady in waiting in Kameoka Castle in her formative years, where she received an education worthy of a Lady of means. Reputed to be incredibly beautiful, she was married and bore three children; however, her husband and all children died before she was twenty. Remarried she bore another daughter, however that child too perished and her husband died while she was just 32. Inconsolable, she cut off her hair to join the nunnery at Chion-in Temple, where she renounced the world and received the name Rengetsu (Lotus Moon). However, this was not the end, but only the beginning of a career as artist and poet which would propel her to the top of the 19th century Japan literati art world.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1900 item #1472140 (stock #TCR7104)
The Kura
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Tiny repairs of gold glint along the rim of this misshapen wan-gata bowl from the Utsutsukawa tradition of Nagasaki. The bowl comes with a silk pouch enclosed in an old wooden box. There is a kutsuki on one side, where it adhered to something else in the kiln. The bowl is 12 x 10.5 x 6.5 cm (4-3/4 x 4-1/8 x 2-1/2 inches) and is in overall fine condition, dating from the 19th century.
Utsutsukawa-yaki originated in Nagasaki in the late 17th century. It is said it began when Tanaka Gyobusaemon opened a kiln around 1690. It is characterized by brown orange clay with a heavy iron content and was most often decorated with Brush strokes in white slip. Although at one time it was called the Ninsei of the West, the manufacture lasted only about 50 years due to the financial aspect of the clan, and it disappeared until the Meiji period, when there was an attempted revival, but that too failed to last. In modern times the art was revived by Yokoishi Gagyu, and has been named an important cultural property of Nagasaki Prefecture.
All Items : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1940 item #1472306 (stock #OC055)
The Kura
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A beautifully sculpted image of a pheasant by Ogawa Yuhei enclosed in the original signed wooden box. It is 37 cm long and in excellent condition.
Yuhei Ogawa (1885-1945) was born in Takamatsu, Okayama prefecture an came to pottery a bit later than most. In 1923, while working part time at the Naval Hydrographic Department, he was deeply moved by seeing the solo exhibition of ceramic sculptor Kazumasa Numata. This gave him impetus to begin sculpting in his free time. Although he started his career as an artist late at the age of 37, he was selected for the opening exhibition of the newly established arts and crafts department at the Teiten National Exhibition in 1927, and frequently thereafter. He participated in the activities of the Totokai, a group of potters living in the Kanto region, with Itaya Hazan, Numata Kazumasa and Miyagawa (Makuzu) Kozan II serving as advisors, and played an active role as a central artist. In 1934 he was invited to Iwaki Glass Factory as an advisor and created pottery sculptures and glass works for the rest of his life. A sculpture of a black panther is held in the collection of the Tokyo National Museum of Modern Art.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Okimono : Pre 1920 item #1473099
The Kura
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A bronze crane in dark almond colored patina of superb craftsmanship dating from the late 19th to early 20th century (Meiji period). It is quite large at 48.5 cm tall (19 inches) and is in excellent condition.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Lacquer : Pre 1900 item #1473114
The Kura
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A rare stacking Bento (picnic) box in the shape of a tea leaf storage jar decorated in a realistic fashion with black, silver and gold maki-e lacquer. It consists of four pieces, stacked they are 28 cm (11 inches) tall, and all are in excellent condition.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1700 item #1473156
The Kura
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An early Edo period Ki-Seto sake cup repurposed with a silver lid pierced with a chrysanthemum to function as an incense burner enclosed in a custom made silk pouch and bamboo case dating the transformation to New Years of Kae-7 (1854). Without the lid it is 5.5 cm (roughly 2 inches) diameter and in excellent condition.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1900 item #1473244 (stock #NW002)
The Kura
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A quintessential Iga vase dating from the Edo period, the rough clay covered in thick ash glaze. It is viciously charred, testament to the tempest in the kiln, with molten ash flowing freely over the surface. This is a perfect complement to a Japanese chashitsu tea room or traditional flower display. It is 24.5 cm (9-1/2 inches) tall and in excellent condition. In a Japanese tea ceremony room, historically vases were made to match the ambiance of the humble setting. Although I did not write it: Starting in the Momoyama period (16th century), Mimitsuki Iga ware vases with characteristic "ear" lugs appeared. and thus became the popular norm. Since then the ears have become a mark of not only Iga flower vessels but also Mizusashi water jars. They were used as Japanese tea utensils under master Sen no Rikkyu and others. Old Iga ware, which is known as Ko-Iga, generally reflects Wabi-Sabi aesthetics with a rustic appearance and purposefully deformed shapes, given extra character by the addition of "ear" lugs and intentional gouges and dents.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Metalwork : Pre 1900 item #1473297 (stock #MW010)
The Kura
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A rare iron hanging censer in the shape of a Mongolian Saddle Stirrup (Abumi) with silver mesh lid covering half the top. It comes in an age-darkened and worm-eaten kiri-wood box titled simply Tsuri Koro. The receptacle is 13.5 x 7 x 15 cm (5-1/2 x 3 x 6 inches) and is in excellent condition, dating from the Edo period.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1920 item #1473331 (stock #OC051)
The Kura
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A striking Peacock feather colored flambe glazed vase by Leading Kyoto Potter Uno Ninmatsu enclosed in a signed wooden box dated the 10th month of Showa 5 (October 1930). It is 28 cm tall and in excellent condition.
Uno Ninmatsu (1864-1937) was born in Kyoto son of potter Wada Sohei and studied under his father as well as from a young age Seifu Yohei II then future Imperial Art Academy artist Seifu Yohei III until setting up his own studio at the age of 21. Outgoing by comparison to the normal Kyoto ideal, he promoted Kyoto art and culture and actively sought to invigorate the export market (then dominated by Tokyo and Yokohama). He won a bronze medal at the Paris world exposition in 1901, and gold medal at the St. Louis Exposition in 1904, Belgium in 1905 and Milan the following year. Unlike other potters in Kyoto at this time, he did not overly decorate his works, but concentrated on matte glazes and form in austere glaze techniques. This proved very popular, and from the turn of the century his works were highly sought in the United States. He also worked closely with designers in France, where many of his works were exported. Following the first world war, he retired to the domestic market. He was deeply involved in silk road pottery research and mastered Shinsha (flambe glazes) as well as Turkish Blue and other styles not yet produced at that time in Kyoto. He was father and mentor to Uno Soyo and Uno Sango, and served as mentor to the young Isamu Noguchi.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Pre 1920 item #1473519
The Kura
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The androgynous Kannon sits in meditation under climbing rocks and tumbling waves deeply carved into the side of this bamboo incense container dating from the early 20th century (late Meiji to Taisho period). It is 34 cm long (13-1/2 inches) long and in excellent condition, a superb example of the genre. This would have been used to hold incense sticks.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Porcelain : Pre 1920 item #1473954
The Kura
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An ornate porcelain image of a horse draped in full regalia by Miyanaga Tozan I enclosed in the original signed wooden box. The detail about the head is fabulous, and the artist has done an excellent job capturing the musculature of the creature while allowing something ethereal. In Japan horses (and cows and foxes and deer and lots of other creatures) are often enshrined as messengers or embodiments of the gods in Shinto. This is 21 x 9 x 23.5 cm (9-1/4 inches) tall and in excellent condition.
Miyanaga Tozan I (1868-1941) is one of the most important names in Kyoto ceramics. He was born in Ishikawa prefecture, and graduated from the (now) Tokyo University of Art. While a government employee, he represented Japan at Arts Expositions, and studied art in Europe before returning to Japan in 1902 to devote himself to the production of ceramics, with great emphasis on celadon, one of the most difficult of all ceramic wares. He was direct teacher or mentor to a number of prominent artists including Kitaoji Rosanjin and Arakawa Toyozo.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Paintings : Pre 1920 item #1474626
The Kura
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A black bird sporting a tufted beak shelters among the thick foliage of fresh bamboo by the easily identifiable and quite rare artist Sakakibara Shiho performed with pigment on silk in the original signed double wood box titled Mosochiku Hakkacho (Crested Myna Bird in Moso Bamboo), a favorite motif by the artist dating from the Taisho period. It is bordered in fine pattered silk threaded with gold and is appointed with solid ivory rollers (these will be changed if exporting). A major work, the scroll is 55.5 x 222.5 cm (inches) and in overall fine condition.
Sakakibara Shiho (1887 – 1971) was born in Kyoto and studied traditional Japanese painting at the Kyoto City School of Arts and Crafts, graduating in 1907, then moved on to the Kyoto Municipal School of Painting (mod University of Art). While at the school, his works were accepted (1909) and awarded (1911) into the Bunten National Exhibition. He graduated there in 1913. With his radical style garnering disapproval in official circles, in 1918, along with Tsuchida Bakusen, Irie Hakko, Ono Chikkyo and Murakami Kagaku founded the Kokuga Sosaku Kyokai. The organization changed its name to the Kokugakai in 1928, the same year Shiho took a position at his alma mater where he was awarded a professorship in 1937. He was awarded for his life’s work by the Nihon Geijutsu-in (Japan Art Academy) in 1962. Happily, the Kokuga-kai has outlived its founders, and is still exhibiting annually to this day. Works are held in the collections of the Seattle Art Museum, The Kyoto National Museum of Modern Art, the Adachi Museum as well as the Otani memorial Art Museum among others.
All Items : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Paintings : Pre 1930 item #1474709
The Kura
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Additional photos of this fabulous Accordion book of 12 paintings by Kimura Seiun enclosed in a wooden box titled Atami Dan Ko-gasatsu and dated early Spring of Showa 4 (1929). The introductory page is written by Zen priest Hashimoto Dokuzan of Tenryuji Temple in Kyoto. The paintings are each signed with various names used by Kimura, mostly Seiun or Ren. The introductory and concluding pages are both dated 1929. It is 28 x 14 cm (5-1/2 x 11 inches) and in overall outstanding condition.
Atami is a place in Japan on the Izu peninsula South of Tokyo in Shizuoka prefecture.
  Kimura Seiun (1885-1967) was born in Shimane prefecture, home of one of the oldest and most venerated shrines in Japan, Izumo Taisha Shrine. His given name was Hara Renzaburo however he was adopted into the Kimura family taking that name. In 1921 he moved to Kyoto where he studied painting under Miyazaki Chikuso, and them to Tokyo where he studied under Komura Suiun. Post war he returned to Shimane, devoting himself to painting and private exhibitions, leading the quiet life of a scholar.
Hashimoto Dokuzan (Gengi, 1869-1938) was born in Nîigata, and was sent to Kyoto at the age of 16 to study painting and philosophy under the important literatus Tomioka Tessai. At the age of 20 he entered Tenryuji Temple under Hashimoto Gazan, later receiving Inka (recognition of enlightenment) from Ryuen. In 1910 he moved to Sokokuji, and then was assigned the foundation of Nanonji Temple in Tottori Prefecture. He served as abbot of Tenryuji Temple and Sokokuji, both important Zen temples in Kyoto.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Porcelain : Pre 1910 item #1474794 (stock #OC004)
The Kura
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Gold dragons prance about the vermillion surface of this exquisite vessel by important Meiji potter Eiraku Zengoro XIV (Tokuzen) enclosed in the original signed wooden box which is in turn enclosed in an outer box also annotated by a later generation Eiraku. Remembered specifically for his mastery of Aka-e Kinsai ware, this is a museum worthy example of this important potters work. It is 43 cm (17 inches) tall and in excellent condition.
Eiraku Tokuzen (Eiraku Zengoro XIV, 1853-1909) was born the first son of the 12th generation Eiraku Wazen He was named the 14th Zengoro at the age of 18 in 1871. This was only a couple years after the Fall of the Shogunate and restoration of the Meiji emperor, a hard time for potters specializing in Tea ware, which was experiencing a backlash as did many things associated with what had been traditional societal ranking and privilege. However Tokuzen worked hard to both maintain ties with the tea world, while making efforts to embrace a global audience. In 1873 Eiraku wares were exhibited at the Vienna World Exposition, and in 1876, Philadelphia, then Paris in 1878. At the same time new approaches to pottery pioneered by Eiraku were exhibited at the 1875 Kyoto Hakurankai in the cultural heartland of Japan. In 1882 he opened in a new Kiln in the Eastern hills called the Kikutani Kiln (Valley of Chrysanthemum) specializing in high end tea ware for both Maccha and Sencha teas, while expanding into daily wares for the growing middle class.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Lacquer : Pre 1920 item #1474892
The Kura
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A magnificent set of five wooden bowls lacquered red with a net design enclosed in the original wooden box titled Shu-nuri Amime Hashiaraiwan dating from the first half of the 20th century. Excluding the lid each is 7.5 cm (3 inches) tall, roughly the same diameter at the rim, and all are in excellent condition. Repeated use of lacquer tends to see the black acquire a brown tinge. These remain jet black, and it is likely they have been virtually unused for the better part of a century.
Hashiaraiwan (also called Hitokuchiwan) are used after the first four courses in Kaiseki food to clear the pallet, ordinarily a thin soup or something light. The literal meaning is washing the chopsticks bowl.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1900 item #1475127
The Kura
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A striking soft-glazed six-sided incense burner by Maki Hokusai decorated with white flower blossoms on soft flesh colored glaze surmounted by a silver lid pierced with the character Kotobuki (Fortune) by Hata Zoroku. The pot itself is 10 cm tall, plus the sliver lid. It comes in an ancient wooden box signed by Zoroku.
Hata Zoroku I (1823-1890) learned metalwork techniques in the studio of Ryubundo in Kyoto. Hata produced works for the Imperial Household and it is known that he made the gold Imperial seal and national seal by order of the Imperial Household in 1873. He was under consideration as Artist to the Imperial Household (Teishitsu Gigeiin). He died several days before the announcement of these designations in 1890. For bronze works by Zoroku in the collection of the Imperial Household, see The Era of Meiji Bijutsu-kai and Nihon Kinko Kyokai, in Meiji bijutsu saiken I (Reappraisal of Meiji Art I) (Tokyo: Museum of the Imperial Collections, Sannomaru Shozokan, 1995), pp. 40-41.
Maki Hokusai (Bunshichi, 1782-1857) established a pottery workshop in the West district of Nagoya city during the Bunka era (1804-18). Hokusai was a master at sculpture and studied painting technique under Gekkoku. He decorated with bright colors and vivid detailed landscapes. Known as a master craftsman for making tea utensils, sake utensils, ornaments, etc., he worked for the 12th lord of the Owari clan, Tokugawa Naritaka, and produced works in the Hagiyama Niwa-yaki kiln of the Feudal lord. The kiln continued for three generations, but due to the expansion of Nagoya Station, the kiln was abandoned around 1923.