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 : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1960 item #1492756 (stock #K062)
The Kura
$1,500.00
Grain rises majestically on the surface of this pale vase by pioneering female potter Suwa Sozan II enclosed in the original signed wooden box titled Mugi-mon Hanaire. It is 15 cm (6 inches) diameter 34 cm (13-1/2 inches) tall and in excellent condition.
Suwa Sozan (1852-1922) was born in Kutani country, present day Ishikawa prefecture, where he initially studied before moving to Tokyo in 1875. Over the next 25 years he would gravitate between Tokyo and Kanazawa, working at various kilns and research facilities. He again relocated, this time to Kyoto in 1900 to manage the Kinkozan Studio. His name became synonymous with celadon and refined porcelain. He was succeeded by his adopted daughter upon his death. He is held in the Kyoto National Museum among many others. Sozan II (Torako) was born in Kanazawa in 1890, and was soon adopted by her uncle, Suwa Sozan I. Her ceramics resemble those of Sozan I, but are considered to be more graceful and feminine. Torako assumed the family name upon her uncles death in 1922. She is held in the collection of the Imperial Household Agency among others.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Porcelain : Pre 1920 item #1492703 (stock #K088)
The Kura
$1,650.00
An image of the white robed Kannon (Quanyin), Goddess of Mercy, by Mashimizu Zoroku dating from the early 20th century. Exquisitely crafted, The figure is 14.5 x 12 x 21.5 cm (5-3/4 x 4-3/4 x 8-1/2 inches) and is in excellent condition.
Kannon, also known as Guan-yin in Chinese or Avalokitasvara is a Bodhisattva, (one who has prolonged their own eternal enlightenment to stay behind to alleviate the suffering of others in this ephemeral world. Generally shown as feminine or androgynous, she is one of the most popular deities in the Japanese Buddhist Pantheon.
Mashimizu Zoroku I ((Shimizu Tasaburo, 1822-1877) studied under his uncle Wake Kite and established his independent studio in 1843, taking the name Mashimizu Zoroku. He became independent in 1843 working along with Sen Soshitsu XI. His work was exhibited at the Vienna international exposition in 1873 and Philadelphia in 1876. Zoroku II (Jutaro,1861-1936) was born in the Gojo-zaka Pottery district of Kyoto and inherited the pottery tradition of his father, and, after his early death, continued under the guidance of his mother Chika, taking the name Zoroku in 1882. He was awarded at the Kyoto Kangyo Hakurankai Exposition. He colluded with some of the greatest artist of the day in reviving lost Japanese traditions such as Koyama Fujio and Arakawa Toyozo as well as being heavily involved in research into continental styles. He was a well regarded member of the city’s literatus, and is remembered for both his pottery and paintings in the Nanga tradition,
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1700 item #1492680 (stock #K072)
The Kura
$2,700.00
A small Shigaraki pottery urn of very rough clay dating from the 16th century covered in thin natural ash glaze. The squat form known as Uzukumaru is very popular for its simplicity in Japanese Tea Aesthetics. About the shoulder is a lattice fence design engraved into the earth, otherwise it is unadorned and very humble. It is 14 cm (5-1/2 inches) diameter, roughly the same height enclosed in an ancient wooden storage box. There is an old age-darkened chip to the rim, otherwise is in surprisingly condition,
Appreciation of ancient Shigaraki pottery encapsulates a profound appreciation for imperfection, transience, and simplicity. Wabi-sabi cherishes the beauty found in the imperfect, the weathered, and the natural, fostering a sense of humility and acceptance. This philosophy values authenticity over artificial perfection, encouraging a deeper connection with nature and the passage of time. Similarly, the Japanese tea aesthetic, rooted in the tea ceremony's ritualistic practices, emphasizes harmony, respect, and tranquility. Together, they invite individuals to embrace the fleeting moments of life, finding solace and serenity in the subtle beauty of the everyday.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1920 item #1492679 (stock #K070)
The Kura
sold, thank you
A large figure of the Daruma in celadon glaze by Teishitsu Gigei-in Suwa Sozan I set on to a rosewood stand and enclosed in the original signed wooden box. The beautifully carved face and feet are in raw, burnt clay, the rest is entirely robed in pale green. It is 18.5 x 16.5 x 36cm (7-1/4 x 6-1/2 x 14 inches) plus the stand and is in excellent condition, signed inside with his koban shaped oval seal.
Suwa Sozan I (1852-1922) was born in Kutani country, present day Ishikawa prefecture, where he initially studied before moving to Tokyo in 1875. Over the next 25 years he would gravitate between Tokyo and Kanazawa, working at various kilns and research facilities. He again relocated, this time to Kyoto in 1900 to manage the Kinkozan Studio before establishing his own. His name became synonymous with celadon and refined porcelain and was one of only five potters to be named Teishitsu Gigei-in. The Teishitsu Gigei-in were members of the Imperial Art Academy, Perhaps in modern terms one might call them the predecessors to the Living National Treasures. However unlike the LNT, there were only five Pottery artists ever named Teishitsu Gigei-in, Ito Tozan, Suwa Sozan, Itaya Hazan, Miyagawa Kozan, and Seifu Yohei III. He was succeeded by his adopted daughter upon his death. He is held in the Kyoto National Museum among many others.
All Items : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Dolls : Pre 1980 item #1492678 (stock #K087)
The Kura
$1,800.00
Sale Pending
Two dramatic Bunraku Puppet Kashira (heads) from the Awaji puppet carving tradition. The male is Kumagai Naozane, a character from the Heikei Monogatari present at the Battle of Ichinotani made by Ryuun. The female figure is Yaegakehime from the play Honcho Nijushi ko. They are both roughly 20 cm (8 inches) tall from the neck, 40 cm (16 inches) tall as they are seen on their stands respectively and are in excellent condition. They are fully functional, both nod up and down, and can open and or close their eyes by toggles on the neck, and his eyebrows move up and down.
Kumagai Naozane was a famous soldier who served the Genji (Minamoto) clan during the Heian period of Japanese history. Kumagai is particularly known for his exploits during the Genpei War, specifically for killing the young warrior Taira no Atsumori at the battle of Ichi-no-tani in 1184.
The princess is the heroine of a five-act drama named the 24 models of filial piety (Honcho Nijushi Ko). This historical drama was first performed in 1766.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Sculpture : Pre 1900 item #1492677 (stock #K064)
The Kura
$950.00
A pair of masks representing the two variations of Tengu, the long nosed Tengu and the Karasu (Crow) Tengu mounted on a wooden placard dating from the Meiji period. Each mask is of carved and lacquered wood with inset glass eyes. The placard is 38cm (15 inches) wide 22.5 cm (9 inches) tall and the masks are roughly 11 cm (4 inches plus) in depth. It looks as if the Karasu Tengu mask has had the eyes repaired, and they appear cloudy by comparison to those of the the long nosed partner.
The long-nosed and or Beaked Tengu is a mythical creature from Japanese folklore. Tengu are believed to be supernatural beings often depicted with human and bird-like features. They're known for their long noses, which can vary in length depending on the depiction. Tengu are often associated with mountain forests and are considered protectors of the mountains. They are known for their mischievous nature, martial arts prowess, and sometimes for teaching humans valuable lessons or skills. In Japanese culture, Tengu are a fascinating blend of reverence and fear, embodying both the spiritual and the natural worlds.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1920 item #1492676 (stock #K074)
The Kura
$2,500.00
An anonymous hyper realistic ceramic version of a skull about which crawls snake, circling down the cheek and exiting through the eye socket, late Meiji to Taisho period. It is 11 x 16.5 x 10 cm. This type of object was popular in the later 19th to early 20th centuries as a talisman. The dilapidated wooden box bears a label reading Mayoke Ko-To-Sei Dokuro (Protective Old Ceramic Skull).
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Devotional Objects : Pre 1800 item #1492641 (stock #K051)
The Kura
$2,100.00
The bird-faced Kami (god) Doryo Daigongen strikes a powerful pose astride the back of a mischievous white fox. Doryo is purported to have been an ascetic monk who turned himself into a Tengu when he vowed on his deathbed to protect the Mountain Temple Complex of Daiyuzen in modern day Kanagawa prefecture. This legend inspired a cult which rose to great prominence in the Edo period. To this cult the figure was the ward of Budo (martial arts). Originally this figure would have had feathered wings, which have been lost to time, and it is likely the soot encrusted figure was also once adorned in color and the fox was white, but that too has been all buried beneath centuries of soot from incense smoke. It is 34 cm (13-1/2 inches) tall. There is some damage to his right hand, tip of the beak and foxes tail.
Tengu are mountain and forest goblins with both Shinto and Buddhist attributes. The patron of martial arts, the bird-like Tengu is a skilled warrior and mischief maker, especially prone to playing tricks on arrogant and vainglorious men, and to punishing those who willfully misuse knowledge and authority to gain fame or position. In Buddhist lore they came to be protectors of temples and defenders of the Dharma (Buddhist Law).
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1700 item #1492640 (stock #K053)
The Kura
$1,750.00
A beautifully formed earthen flask from the Bizen region, the fire-buffed side still gleaming softly while opposite it has absorbed time into the porous clay. It comes enclosed in a box titled Ko Bizen Kaijo Ko-Tokkuri, inside the lid is annotated the dimensions and the dating Momoyama Jidai no Saku (Made in the Momoyama period) signed by the great Bizen connoisseur Katsura Matasaburo. It is 6.5 cm (2-1/2 inches) diameter, 13.5 cm (5-1/4 inches) tall and in overall fine condition.
Bizen boasts a rich cultural heritage as one of the Rokkoyo (six ancient kilns), originating in Okayama Prefecture, with a history spanning over a thousand years. Its traditional wood-fired kiln process imparts unique characteristics, resulting in earthy tones, rough textures, and distinctive natural ash glazes, prized for their rustic beauty and individuality. Moreover, Bizen ware embodies the ethos of wabi-sabi, celebrating imperfections and simplicity, resonating with collectors who appreciate the aesthetic of rustic charm and natural authenticity. Its timeless elegance and connection to Japanese tea ceremony culture further enhance its allure among pottery enthusiasts, making Bizen pottery a coveted addition to any collection.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Paintings : Pre 1900 item #1492597 (stock #Z086)
The Kura
$1,600.00
A skeleton sits among the dried grasses, alone and forgotten, perhaps reflecting on his life in this earie painting by Buddhist priest Higuchi Ryuon dated Meiji 6 (1873). Ink on paper, it is 41.5 x 179.5 cm (16-1/4 x 70-1/2 inches) and is in fine condition; completely remounted in a border of two subtle shades of black with colorful piping and features black lacquered rollers with mother of pearl flakes. It comes in a kiri-wood box.
Higuchi Ryuon (1800-1885) was a priest of the Jodo sect of Buddhism active from the later Edo through the Meiji periods. Born in Aizu (modern day Fukushima) he studied at the Higashi Honganji Takakura Gakuryo and served at Onjoji in Omi (modern day Shiga Prefecture) as well as Chishakkuin in Kyoto before becoming head priest of Enkoji Temple in Kyoto. He has recently come to attention when it was discovered he had a copy of the Bible in his personal effects.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1900 item #1492596 (stock #K071B)
The Kura
$350.00
A set of three spouted nesting bowls decorated in the traditional Mugiwara pattern of alternating stripes of russet red, pale blue and orange emanating like rays from the center. The larger bowl is 9.5 cm (just under 4 inches) diameter, 5.5 cm (2 inches) tall. The smallest is roughly 7.5 diameter, 4.5 cm tall and all 3 are in excellent condition, enclosed in an old kiri-wood box.
This traditional pattern is called ``Mugiwarade'' because its vertical stripes resemble ears of wheat. It has three colored lines: green, red, and indigo and can be used regardless of the season. This pattern of regularly drawn lines was often used on utensils for daily use such as tea bowls, choko cups, and katakuchi cups. It is believed that they were made throughout Seto, including Shinano and Akatsu, from the late Edo period. Onita, which produces a brown color, is alternately painted with a paint called ``Akaraku,'' which produces a red or orange color, and Gosu, which produces an indigo color. You can see thick lines of red or indigo drawn with not just one, but two or even three thin brown lines between them. Drawing these lines at equal intervals and overlapping the lines thinly at the center (orientation) of the inside of the bowl or plate is one of the highlights of the craftsman's skill.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1900 item #1492595 (stock #K071A)
The Kura
$280.00
Sale Pending
A set of 8 small dishes dating from the later 19th century known as Mame-zara (bean plates) covered in cream colored crackled glaze decorated in the traditional Mugiwarade pattern of alternating stripes of russet red, pale blue and orange emanating like rays from the center. Each plate is roughly 8.5 diameter and all are in excellent condition, enclosed in a modern, black-lacquered wooden box.
This traditional pattern is called ``Mugiwarade'' because its vertical stripes resemble ears of wheat. It has three colored lines: green, red, and indigo and can be used regardless of the season. This pattern of regularly drawn lines was often used on utensils for daily use such as tea bowls, choko cups, and katakuchi cups. It is believed that they were made throughout Seto, including Shinano and Akatsu, from the late Edo period. Onita, which produces a brown color, is alternately painted with a paint called ``Akaraku,'' which produces a red or orange color, and Gosu, which produces an indigo color. You can see thick lines of red or indigo drawn with not just one, but two or even three thin brown lines between them. Drawing these lines at equal intervals and overlapping the lines thinly at the center (orientation) of the inside of the bowl or plate is one of the highlights of the craftsman's skill.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Paintings : Pre 1900 item #1492594 (stock #Z084)
The Kura
$1,650.00
A Dojin licking Dango-treats dances in erratic dashes of soft wet lines and swift dark strokes of flying white on this vertical presentation by Edo period eccentric Doi Goga. Ink on paper it is 43 x 184.5 cm (17 x 72-1/2 inches) and has been completely remounted in dark silk with bone rollers. The creature clutches the raku-in stamp in his upper hand, the other stamps seem to follow his feet like footsteps. It comes enclosed in an age darkened wooden box. Known as the “Mad monk” Goga had a unique spontaneity to his work which was fresh and yet hearkened back to art of the great Zen masters. Of Doga Rhiannon Paget wrote “Characteristic of Goga's works are blunt, velvety black brushstrokes bleeding into the surrounding paper, exaggerated incidences of “flying white” (the streaking effect caused by a dry brush), paler strokes conveying depth, and perhaps most curiously, the incorporation of his seals into the pictorial space. This playful device was used sometimes in Japanese woodblock prints, but is rarely seen in painting”. Doi Goga (1818-1880) was a Confucian scholar of the late Edo to Meiji periods. He was born the son of a doctor serving the lords of Ise (modern Mie prefecture), home of the gods and Ise Shrine. A child prodigy, he studied under Ishikawa Chikugai and Saito Setsudo. The early death of his father saw him succeed the family head at the age of 12. He would serve later as a teacher in the official government school. He held strong opinions and was very critical of the hypocrisy and corruption he saw in military government and in Confucianism itself. His works began to see the light of day in the early Meiji period, however due to their inflammatory nature, much was left unpublished until after his death. Known for paintings of bamboo and landscapes, his Dojin figures are rare and highly sought.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Paintings : Pre 1920 item #1492549 (stock #Z093)
The Kura
$1,000.00
A ghost rises from the darkness pulling on her hair, a wry grin as she looks sideways at the viewer on this antique painting by Moriwaki Unkei. Ink on paper completely cleaned and remounted in vine patterned blue silk with dark wood rollers. There are old age stains on the paper, which appear much stronger in the photos than in life. It is 40 x 200 cm (15-3/4 x 78-3/4 inches) and in excellent condition.
Moriwaki Unkei (1858-1946) was born in Tanakura-cho, Kawaetsu-han (Fukushima prefecture), in the final years of the Edo period. He studied Nanga, literati painting, then moved to Tokyo in 1899 where he helped found the Nihon Nansoga-kai painting organization. His works were shown at the Naikoku Hakurankai and Bunten National Exhibitions among others.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Paintings : Pre 1900 item #1492548 (stock #Z094)
The Kura
$950.00
Long verses fall like rain upon the sinister figure of an Oni (type of devil) dressed in the habit of a priest who glares as he walks through the village, banging out a warning to all evil-doers. Around his neck hangs a bell which he clangs loudly with the hammer held high in one hand. The stern figure carries in the other hand a booklet titled Hogacho. A Hogacho is a record of the name and quantity of persons who donated (hoga) for projects such as the construction and repair of temples or shrines and the publication of scriptures. In the case of the Oni, his Hogacho records the sins and misdeeds of humans for payment in the after world. On his back is an umbrella. Ink on paper in a simple brown cloth border with highlights of Kinran gold in the Ichimonji above and below with dark lacquered wooden rollers like the shift of a priest moving to reveal the regal robes beneath. It is 39.7 x 179 cm (15-1/2 x 70-1/2 inches) and has been completely cleaned and remounted.
The Oni, often depicted as hulking, fearsome creatures with horns, sharp claws, and a menacing appearance, are a prominent feature in Japanese folklore, Buddhist lore, and broader Japanese culture. Their role and representation have evolved over time, encompassing a range of meanings and functions across different contexts.
In folklore, Oni are typically portrayed as malevolent spirits or demons representing chaos, destruction, and malevolence. They are often depicted as ogre-like beings with red or blue skin, wild hair, and tusks. They are known to cause mischief, bring calamities, and even consume human flesh. Oni are common antagonists in folktales, serving as the embodiment of evil and chaos. However, Oni can also have more nuanced roles. In some stories, they are not purely evil but rather more complex characters with a potential for redemption. Thus in Buddhist tradition, Oni take on additional layers of symbolism. They are often seen as the enforcers in hell (Jigoku), punishing the wicked for their sins. In this context, Oni are agents of karmic retribution, ensuring that sinners face the consequences of their actions. This role reinforces the moral lessons of Buddhism, emphasizing the importance of virtuous behavior to avoid suffering in the afterlife. Sometimes the concept of Oni in Buddhism is more metaphorical, representing inner demons or the obstacles one must overcome on the path to enlightenment. They symbolize inner struggles with the vices and negative emotions such as anger, greed, and ignorance that hinder spiritual progress.
In contemporary Japanese culture, Oni have become more multifaceted. They appear in various media, including literature, art, film, and video games, often with different interpretations. While they still retain their traditional fearsome attributes, they are sometimes depicted in a more humorous or sympathetic light. For example, the Oni character in the popular manga and anime "Dragon Ball" is portrayed as a bureaucratic worker in the afterlife, adding a humorous twist to their traditional role. They also feature prominently in cultural festivals such as Setsubun, celebrated on February 3rd during which people perform rituals to drive away evil spirits. One common practice is the throwing of roasted soybeans (mamemaki) while chanting "Oni wa soto, fuku wa uchi" ("Oni out, good fortune in"), which is meant to cleanse the home and welcome good luck.
The enduring presence and adaptability of the Oni in Japanese culture underscore their significance as both a reflection of societal values and a versatile symbol in the collective imagination.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Paintings : Pre 1900 item #1492517 (stock #Z095)
The Kura
$1,600.00
A deliciously horrifying painting of a ghost rising from the empty field dating from the 19th century completely remounted and ready to go for another century of leering from the shadows. Ink on paper with highlights of gofun and red pigment separated from a field of blue by a single narrow strand of red and gold Kinran silk terminating in dark wood rollers. The artist has sealed the panting with two crimson chops in the lower corner. The scroll is 42.7 x 196 cm (16-3/4 x 77 inches) and is in overall excellent condition, completely remounted.
For the Japanese Kaidan-banashi, or ghost stories, are a summer tradition. It is said that the telling of a ghost tale at night will cause the temperature in the room to fall, a great necessity during those boiling summer evenings. The ghosts and their associated skeletons have also long been subject in Buddhist art, with the emphasis on the brief nature of our lives in comparison to the cosmic void.
All Items : Artists : Metalwork : Contemporary item #1492480 (stock #K065)
The Kura
$750.00
A Fine modernist vase by master of the Japanese bronze tradition, world renowned Hasuda Shugoro, enclosed in the original signed wooden box titled Seido Tsubo, Shajiku (Pure Bronze Vase, Hub). The contemporary belted form is finished with matte olive patination. It is 15 cm (6 inches) diameter, 19 cm (just under 8 inches) tall and in excellent condition. The box is dated on the side an auspicious day in the 4th month of Heisei 8 (1996).
Hasuda Shugoro was born in Kanazawa City in 1915. After graduating the Ishikawa Prefectural Industrial School, he moved to the Tokyo School of Art. Much lauded his first award was at the 5th Nitten in 1949 and he received the Hokuto-sho there in 1953 among many further prizes. He participated in the founding of the Creative Crafts Association in 1961 and founded the Japan Metal Sculpture Institute in 1976. Decorated with the Order of Cultural Merit in 1991, Hasuda Shugoro stands as one of the leading modernist artists working in bronze during the Post-War Period. A vase by the artist sold at Christies in 2012 for 2,500 pounds (roughly 4,000 dollars). For more on this artist see Hasuda Shugoro Kinzoku Zokei (1981).
All Items : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Baskets : Pre 1990 item #1492453 (stock #K066)
The Kura
$800.00
A cocoon shaped basket of tight weave with bamboo insert made for wall hanging by Maeda Chikubosai II enclosed in the original signed wooden box titled Kake Kaki (Hanging Flower Receptacle). It is roughly 16 cm (6 plus inches) diameter, 19 cm (7-1/2 inches) tall and is in excellent condition.
Maeda Chikubosai II (1917-2003), was born when his father, Chikubosai I (1872-1950) was already quite mature. Initially he studied plaiting techniques from younger artists in the family studio, and once mastered studied under his father, and Yamamoto Chikuryosai I (Shoen), becoming an independent artist in 1941 and succeeding to the Chikubosai name in 1950. He was accepted into the Nitten National Exhibition in 1953, and exhibited there consistently as well as in the Japan Traditional Crafts Exhibition (Dento Kogeiten). He was honored by the Japanese government in 1992, and was named a Living National Treasure for the bamboo crafts in 1995. Work by him is held in the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo.