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 : Devotional Objects : Pre 1900 item #1481717
The Kura
sold, thank you
A serene vision of enlightenment, calming and compassionate, can be seen in the later Edo period Buddhist carving of Amitabha. He stands on a lotus base, with a flame like mandala rising up behind him in the shape of a jewel, the entire gilded in pure gold worn soft with age and care. The figure alone is 39 cm (15-1/2 inches) tall. With the base and mandala, it is 65.5 cm (just under 26 inches) tall. It is in excellent condition. I believe that some restoration has been performed on the delicately sculpted hands in the past, not uncommon in the most earthquake prone country on the planet.
Amida Buddha, also known as Amida Nyorai or Amitabha Buddha, is an important figure in Mahayana Buddhism, particularly in the Pure Land Buddhism tradition which permeates Japan. He is revered as a celestial Buddha who resides in the Pure Land, a realm of ultimate enlightenment and liberation from suffering. Pure Land Buddhism and the belief in Amida Buddha were introduced to Japan during the 8th century. The key figure responsible for bringing Pure Land teachings to Japan was the monk, scholar, and imperial advisor named Genshin (942-1017). Genshin is considered the founder of the Japanese Pure Land school and played a significant role in popularizing the Pure Land teachings in the country. Genshin was deeply influenced by the Chinese Pure Land master Shan-tao (613-681) and his teachings on Amitabha Buddha's Pure Land. Shan-tao was a renowned exponent of Pure Land Buddhism, and his writings and teachings had a profound impact on the development of the Pure Land tradition in East Asia. Genshin's most famous work, "Ojoyoshu" (The Essentials of Rebirth in the Pure Land), written in 985, became a seminal text in Japanese Pure Land Buddhism. In this treatise, Genshin elaborated on the concept of Amida Buddha's Pure Land and the practice of reciting the Nembutsu (Namu Amida Butsu) as a means of attaining birth in the Pure Land after death. After the establishment of the Pure Land school, Pure Land Buddhism gained popularity among the common people and members of the aristocracy in Japan. The teaching of salvation through faith in Amida Buddha's vow and the chanting of the Nembutsu resonated with the aspirations of people seeking a simple and accessible path to enlightenment. Over time, other prominent figures and schools contributed to the spread and development of Pure Land Buddhism in Japan. Notably, Honen (1133-1212), the founder of the Jodo Shu (Pure Land School) in the Kamakura period, and Shinran (1173-1263), the founder of the Jodo Shinshu (True Pure Land School), played significant roles in popularizing Pure Land Buddhism and further shaping its doctrines.
Amida Buddha and Pure Land Buddhism continue to be influential and revered in various Asian countries, especially in Japan, where it has a significant presence as one of the major Buddhist traditions. The belief in Amida Buddha's compassion and the aspiration to reach his Pure Land remain important elements in the spiritual lives of millions of Buddhists around the world.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1900 item #1481278
The Kura
sold, thank you
A light raku chawan displaying a mitsuba-aoi family crest pressed into the side which has been shattered and repaired with black lacquer mellowed slightly brown, then broken again and repaired with gold. An amazing amount of work to save the fragments. The bowl is 12.5 cm (5 inches) diameter6.5 cm (2-1/2 inches) tall and comes enclosed in an old Kiri-wood collectors’ box.
Kintsugi is a traditional Japanese art form of repairing broken pottery or ceramics using lacquer and powdered precious metals. Instead of hiding the cracks and flaws, kintsugi embraces them and turns them into a beautiful and unique feature of the object. This practice holds several significant cultural and philosophical meanings in Japanese culture, particularly in relation to tea ceremonies: Kintsugi embodies the spirit of wabi-sabi, a Japanese aesthetic worldview centered around imperfection, transience, and the beauty of the natural cycle of growth and decay. Embracing the flawed and broken aspects of an object through kintsugi is a way to appreciate the passage of time and the history of the object, recognizing that it gains value and character through its journey. Kintsugi aligns with traditional Japanese values of frugality and resourcefulness. Instead of discarding broken items, kintsugi repairs them, extending their lifespan and reducing waste. This approach reflects a profound respect for resources and a desire to cherish and honor the objects used in daily life. This is also a way to avoid offending the spirit of the object, as all items are embodied with a soul of some sort. The act of repairing broken pottery with gold-laced lacquer carries a symbolic message of resilience and overcoming adversity. The restored object becomes a metaphor for the human experience, highlighting that even after suffering damage or hardship, one can find beauty and strength through healing and renewal. In the context of the Japanese tea ceremony kintsugi plays a vital role in enhancing the overall aesthetic experience, especially during the tenth month. The practice of kintsugi encourages contemplation and introspection during the tea ceremony. Guests may be reminded of the impermanence of all things and the beauty that can arise from embracing life's scars and vulnerabilities. Overall, kintsugi holds a deep cultural and philosophical significance in Japanese culture, symbolizing beauty in imperfection, respect for resources, and the resilience of both objects and individuals. In the context of the tea ceremony, it enriches the aesthetics and fosters a sense of mindfulness and appreciation for the present moment.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Porcelain : Pre 1900 item #1481233
The Kura
sold, thank you
This child with a pleasant face happily rides his toy horse, the horse looking just as pleased. The entirety is a porcelain sake server from the Saga region on the southern Island of Kyushu, home to Imari, Hirado and other porcelain ware. A bung of black persimmon wood has been added as a lid in the shape of a Chinese hat. It is 21 x 12 x 21 cm (8 x 4-3/4 x 8 inches) and in overall fine, original condition, dating from the 19th century.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1930 item #1481152
The Kura
sold, thank you
A pair of covered ceremonial Sake-Tsubo called Heiji decorated with the three auspicious winter plants, Sho-chiku-bai (Pine, bamboo and plum) by Ito Tozan II enclosed in the original wooden box Plum pine and bamboo rise up in a riot of color on the thinly crackled pale glaze covering the surface. Inside the box is dated Showa 11 (1936) 8th month, 9th day. Each is roughly 22 cm (9 inches) tall and in excellent condition, each uniquely stamped on the base with the artist seal.
Ito Tozan I (1846-1920) began as a painter in the Maruyama school studying under Koizumi Togaku. In 1862 he became a pupil of Kameya Kyokutei, as well as studying under Takahashi Dohachi III nd Kanzan Denshichi (who made the dishes for the imperial table). In 1867, with the fall of the Edo government, he opened his kiln in Eastern Kyoto. Much prizd at home, he was also recognized abroad at the Amsterdam, Paris and Chicago World Expositions. With an emphasis on Awata and Asahi wares of Kyoto, he began to use the name Tozan around 1895. In 1917 he was named a member of the Imperial Art Academy, one of only five potters ever given that title.
Ito Tozan II (1871-1937) was born the fourth son of one of the upper level samurai of the Zeze feudal domain in Otsu, just over the mountains from Kyoto and began his artistic career as a painter. He was picked up by Tozan I and introduced to the plastic arts, where he flourished, taking over the Tozan kiln in 1920, following the death of his mentor.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1900 item #1480950
The Kura
sold, thank you
An exquisite Edo period incense burner, the fine red clay covered in running bamboo glaze from the kilns of Takatori on the southern Island of Kyushu wrapped in a silk pouch and enclosed in a period Kiri-wood box. The lid is solid silver pierced with roiling fronds. It is 7.5 cm diameter, 7 cm tall excluding the silver lid, and in excellent condition.
Takatori-yaki, is a traditional style of Japanese pottery that originated in the early 17th century. It was developed in the town of Takatori (mod. Fukuoka Prefecture). Takatori-yaki is renowned for its unique and distinctive aesthetic, characterized by rustic simplicity, earthy tones and running glaze. The history of Takatori pottery dates back to the beginning of the Edo period (1603-1868) when a Korean potter named Yi Sam-pyeong, also known as Ri Sampei in Japanese, settled in the area. Yi Sam-pyeong had been brought to Japan by the powerful daimyo (feudal lord) Hosokawa Tadaoki, who ruled over the Higo Province (present-day Kumamoto Prefecture). Tadaoki was fascinated by Korean pottery and invited skilled potters from Korea to establish kilns in Japan, with Yi Sam-pyeong being one of them. Under the patronage of the Hosokawa family, Yi Sam-pyeong and his descendants established the Takatori kilns in the town of Takatori. Initially, the kilns produced pottery influenced by Korean styles, particularly the Buncheong and Ido wares. However, over time, they developed their own distinct style, blending Korean techniques with Japanese aesthetics. Takatori was highly prized by tea masters and samurai lords who appreciated its rustic charm and humble beauty. Takatori-yaki became an integral part of the tea ceremony culture, as its earthy tones and natural glazes were considered suitable for the serene and rustic atmosphere of tea houses.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1700 item #1478869
The Kura
sold, thank you
A yobitsugi Jar made up of various excavated kiln shards of central Japan dating from the Heian period (794–1185). It is roughly 32 cm diameter, the same height. Looking at the volume of debris and encrustations, it is likely that the upper most part of this tsubo, which is one piece, was buried in a kiln collapse, earth and stone fusing to the molten ash. During the Heian period, hole kilns were dug into hillsides, with a chimney bored down into the back. Sometimes during firing, or after repeated use, the earth above would weaken and collapse upon the contents, burying all. Unusable, the site would be abandoned and another hole kiln dug alongside or at the next available site, leaving the shattered contents to be excavated a millennia later. Assembling these parts into Wabi-sabi jars or bowls became popular from the mid Edo period in a style known as Yobitsugi (literally called together and attached). To the contemporary viewer it is an example of the simple beauty of random effects produced by a wood-fired kiln as well as a unique view into the Japanese mindset of serenity found in the accidental and ephemeral.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1700 item #1478842
The Kura
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A rare Seto Heishi (also read Heiji) bottle dating from the Kamakura period (1192-1333) wrapped in a custom made silk pouch with age darkened Kiri-wood box. Streaks of an unusual blue shidare glaze are visible on one side, Unlike the vast majority of Heishi bottles, this piece is no unearthed or excavated but has been passed down from generation to generation (as evidenced by the lack of inclusions or calcification). It is 24 cm tall and in overall excellent condition, with only minor chips about the rim. Included is a printed image of the piece titled Seto Haiyu Heishi, Kamakura period. This appears to have been cut from an exhibition catalog, and one can guess it has been exhibited.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Metalwork : Pre 1930 item #1478829 (stock #MOR7925)
The Kura
sold, thank you
An exquisite bronze image of an ancient sage, a gnarled staff supporting his crooked frame with a golden fan capped with silver feathers clutched in his right hand. The Detail is superb, from the evocative expression to the minute details on his robe and accoutrements. It is signed on the foot Seiun (Hara Souemon), a top quality bronze, expressive and detailed. The figure is 10 inches (25.5 cm) tall and in excellent condition.
The Seiun family began bronze casting by the lost wax method in the later Edo to Meiji period, receiving the technique directly from Hara Takusai. Each piece is unique, unlike many foundries which employ re-usable molds. They are currently in the 5th generation, and have been named an intangible cultural property of Niigata Prefecture.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Metalwork : Pre 1920 item #1478355
The Kura
sold, thank you
A sage, strikes a forever pose as he stares into the distance, robes billowing in the wind, contemplating the troubles of lesser beings, a fan clutched behind. This is a beautiful bronze sculpture dating from early 20th century Japan paying homage to the literati and Confucian traditions which formed the basis of Japanese ideology at the time. It is signed Kiyoshi with an engraved signature on the hem of his robes. The figure stands 39 cm (15-1/2 inches) tall and is in excellent condition.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Lacquer : Pre 1920 item #1478249
The Kura
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A carved lacquer box which pays homage to Chinese literary taste while presenting itself clearly in a modern, Japanese way (for turn of the century lacquerware at least) by 2nd generation lacquer artist Ishii Yusuke enclosed in the original signed wooden box. The tsuishu lacquer technique requires applying layer upon layer of lacquer which is then carved through and polished, a painstaking process. This piece is exquisitely crafted, carved and polished revealing the many layers of lacquer, it is 13.5 x 10.5 x 5.5 cm (5-1/2 x 4 x 2 inches) and is in excellent condition. On bottom in a bell-shaped gold cartouche are the characters Yusuke. According to the box it was held in the collection of the Kuriyama Sodo, home of Ishizaka Sennosuke who was a member of the governing assembly of Toyama prefecture.
Ishii Yusuke (1851-1925) was born the second son of the lacquer artist Ishii Yusuke (different characters, 1810-1886) in the waning years of the Edo period. After learning from his father, he became independent, establishing a second branch family in the Yusuke Lacquer Tradition. The first Yusuke Ishii Founded Yusuke lacquerware and created Chinese-style lacquerware in Takaoka, Toyama Prefecture. He pioneered rust painting and gold leaf techniques to express Chinese-style paintings of flowers, birds, and landscapes three-dimensionally on ancient vermilion or matte lacquer. Later, the eldest son succeeded as Yusuke II
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Metalwork : Pre 1930 item #1478247 (stock #MW008)
The Kura
sold, thank you
A white bronze sculpture of crashing waves supporting three glass orbs; an elegant form carrying good fortune from old Japan. It is 49 cm (19-1/4 inches) long and in overall excellent condition. Set it in the window and watch the orbs blow colorful prisms across the room.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Porcelain : Pre 1930 item #1477867 (stock #OC054)
The Kura
sold, thank you
Fish and water plants in blue with a crab in black decorate this vase by master of the subject Ono Bakufu enclosed in the original Tomobako wooden box from the Sosen Gama titled Sometsuke Kabin signed and sealed inside by Bakufu. The vase is 27 cm (roughly 11 inches) tall, 16.5 cm (6-1/2 inches) diameter and in excellent condition. Born in Tokyo, Ono Bakufu (1888-1976) relocated to central Japan after the great Kanto earthquake of 1923 where he became an honorary member of the Hyogo Prefectural Academy of Fine Arts. Often displayed at the Teiten National Exhibition, he is best known for paintings of fish, which were serialized in 72 woodblock prints from 1937-1942 (Dai Nihon gyorui gashu).
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Sculpture : Pre 1920 item #1477865
The Kura
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An amazing small wooden figure covered in with glass eyes made in the hyper-real likeness of a Rakugo-shi Comic storyteller, dressed I traditional Hakama trousers and seated on a large cushion clutching a fan in his right hand. It is 19 cm (7-1/2 inches) tall, while the cushion upon which he sits is 19.5 x 15.5 cm (just under 8 x 6 inches) and the figure is in excellent condition. There is what appears to be a signature on the bottom; Ta?Saku. This caring is very much in the audacious style of early works by artist Hirakushi Denchu, (b. 1872) and likely dates from the first quarter of the 20th century, although could go back into the final years of the 19th.
According to Wikipedia: Rakugo (literally 'story with a fall) is a form of Japanese verbal entertainment, traditionally performed in small theatres. The lone storyteller sits on a raised platform, a kōza using only a paper fan and a small cloth as props, and without standing up from the seiza sitting position, the rakugo artist depicts a long and complicated comical (or sometimes sentimental) story. The story always involves the dialogue of two or more characters. The difference between the characters is depicted only through change in pitch, tone, and a slight turn of the head.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1700 item #1477328
The Kura
sold, thank you
Thick molten ash drivels over the shoulder of this fabulous 17th century Shigaraki Tsubo storage jar showing all the great attributes of Shigaraki ware. It has a large open ware (pronounced wa-ray) crack down the front, which does not go through to the inside, and the fire blasted front surface is shot with fine heat cracks. A large Kutsuki to the lower let shows where it adhered to something else in the kiln during the firing. Natural ash glaze in yellow and green slides down over the surface forming shiny green drips opposite raw earth burnt red studded with Shiseke feldspathic stones. On the foot are two supporting Geta. It is 31 cm tall, nd in overall excellent condition, with one colored repair to the mouth (see photos).
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1900 item #1477286
The Kura
sold, thank you
This is a breathtaking work of art, a cherubic figure forms the finial of this later Edo period ceramic incense burner. Atop the lid strides a youth in purple robes wearing a lotus leaf as a hat and blowing a flue, a staff lays at his feet. About the square box of the ash pot are exquisite-colored designs lined with gold like precious jewels dangling from the edge. Two beast heads protrude from the sides and the entire is elevated on a square foot. The koro is 8 x 11 x 17 cm (3-1/4 x 4-1/2 x 7 inches) and is in excellent condition. It comes enclosed in an age darkened Kiri-wood box with chamfered edges titled Ninsei Fue-buki Jizo Koro annotated inside the lid Zuiichi (Superlative) followed by a Kao signature traditionally used by Tea Masters, Literati and important figures such as samurai and (Edo period) court figures.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1800 item #1475187
The Kura
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An incredible Mishima Chawan dating from the Edo period with a wide repair to the rim in dark lacquer decorated with golden grasses in gold maki-e lacquer designs. It comes in an ancient dilapidated silk pouch with cotton buffer enclosed in an age darkened kiri-wood box titled Mishima Chawan. The bowl is 5.5 cm (2 inches) tall, 12.5 -13.5 cm (5-1/2 -6 inches) diameter and in fine condition. Mishima ware refers to different types of imported and adopted Japanese pottery. Mishima originally refers to the shimamono pottery imported from the islands of Taiwan, Luzon, and "Amakawa" (Macau). They were characterized by being roughly-made and often uneven, thus epitomizing the Japanese aesthetic of wabi-sabi. HOwever the term overall came to refer to impressed and slip-inlayed ceramics in the Korean style like this bowl.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1900 item #1475127
The Kura
sold, thank you
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.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Lacquer : Pre 1920 item #1474892
The Kura
sold, thank you
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.