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.
In accordance with the requests of local authorities our Kyoto gallery will be closed to visitors from April 14th until further notice.
Sort By:
All Items : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Porcelain : Pre 1940 item #1453733 (stock #TCR5110)
The Kura
$800.00
A lovely pair of matching Tea pots for Chinese steeped tea decorated by the eccentric artist Kai Kozan, each wrapped in a sarasa bag and enclosed in a compartmentalized wooden box signed by the artist. They are roughly 3 inches (7.5 cm) diameter and in excellent condition.
Kai Kozan (1867-1961) was from the land of the literati, Oita prefecture. In 1880 he entered the studio of Hoashi Kyo-u. In 1896 he married Kai Wariko, (daughter of a Honganji Buddhist scholar and graduate of Doshisha Women’s University), and together they helped to establish in 1899 a school for women based on Buddhist principles, and in 1900 BunChuEn JoGakko, what would become Kyoto Womens University and he served as a professor there while maintaining a scholar’s lifestyle throughout his long life.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1900 item #1453033 (stock #TCR8248)
The Kura
$925.00
Butterflies drift over autumn flowers on this Ryoro brazier by Mizukoshi Yosanbei enclosed in a period wooden box endorsed later by Iemoto Watanabe Sokei of the Shogetsu Ryu School of Tea preparation. The pale Kyo-yaki glaze has been sprayed with silver (fuki-e style) over which the insects and flora have been depicted in enamel colors. Impressed into the foot ring is the Yosanbei seal. It is 26 cm (10-1/4 inches) tall, 13.5 cm (5-1/4 inches) diameter. It comes with a new removable bisk fired liner in perfect condition. There are minor nicks around the inside lip where the liner rests, but the Ryoro itself is overall in excellent condition. The box has been annotated by Watanabe Sokei, Iemoto (head) of the Shogetsu-ryu School of Sencha Tea preparation and comes with a note explaining a brief history of the Mizukoshi family pottery hand written and signed by Sokei, in an envelope from the Shogetsu School. The first generation Mizukoshi Yosanbei (also read Yosanhei) was born the son of a wealthy merchant named Sugiura Ninzo in the Sanjo (central) deistric of Kyoto, but was slated to succeed his mothers household (for lack of heirs presumably) so received his mothers maiden name Mizukoshi. He apprenticed in potteryunder the Raku specialist Okazaki (Jinraku) Bunzan. He was proficient in many styles of popular Tea ware including Nanban, Karatsu and Hagias well as Ninsei and other Kyo-yaki styles. He used a five sided seal with the haracters Yosan inside. It is known that potters including Okeya Isaburo from Kutani came to study under him in 1822, so he must have had considerable influence in the later Edo period. He was succeeded by two generations, however the kiln closed during the chaotic fall of the Bakufu (Shogunate) in the 1860s.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Porcelain : Pre 1920 item #1452869 (stock #TCR8247)
The Kura
$1,250.00
A Gasaku joint effort by Kyoto porcelain master Takahashi Dohachi V and Scholar artist Tomioka Tessai (1837-1924) dating from the late Meiji to Taisho period enclosed in a period wooden box. Enigmatic Characters among scholarly figures in cobalt strike firmly from the smooth alabaster surface. Each cup is 5.5 cm (2 inches) and in perfect condition but for onewhich has a slight nick in the rim. The poems dashed out on the bowls are followed by the signature Tessai Gai-shi, and each is signed inside the foot ring Dohachi. Takahashi Dohachi was one in the line of great porcelain masters of Kyoto. The family began potting in the 18th century, and was brought to the forefront of porcelain by the second generation head of the family. From then it was known as one of the top three families in Kyoto for porcelain production. The fifth generation took control of the kiln in 1897. Tomioka Tessai was a scholar artist trained from age seven in the traditional Confucian manner. After the death of his father he was apprenticed to a Shinto shrine, and later moved to work under Otagaki Rengetsu, from whom he was heavily influenced. He held a number of important positions, culminating in being appointed the official painter of the Emperor and a member of the Imperial Art Academy; the highest honor in Japanese Art circles. He was known to have worked with Dohachi in porcelains, as well as Eiraku Zengoro, Suwa Sozan and Kiyomizu Rokubei.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Paintings : Pre 1900 item #1451642 (stock #Z082)
The Kura
$650.00
A dynamic image of a large Dobin tea pot painted by Kiyomizu Rokubei III dated summer of 1876 performed with ink and light color on paper in a period silk border with wood rollers. The scroll is 65 x 181 cm (25-1/2 x 71-1/4 inches). There is some loss to the edge of the upper border, and a streak of color in the lower right corner of the paper (see close-up photos). A Dobin Tea Pot similar to this image is held in the Tokyo National Museum (Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan).
Rokubei III (Koto Kuritaro, 1820-1883) was born in Kyoto second son of Rokubei II. He took over the family kiln even younger than his own father at the age of 18 in 1838. This was the beginning of the Bakumatsu era, the fall of the Edo Shogunate, and Kyoto would play centre stage in this tumultuous era. Vagabonds, Rebels, Reformers and Loyalists made mayhem in the streets and battles raged across the city while foreign powers leveraged unfair treaties against the reluctant Shogun. Many advanced techniques were imported to Japan through Rangaku (Dutch studies) at the open port of Nagasaki and then from a growing number of locations after the arrival of Commodore Perry in 1853. In 1868 the Edo government fell, and the capital was moved to Tokyo. Rokubei III was aware of the advantages of modernism, while maintaining the traditions of the former generations. He went to Yokohama with Miyagawa (Makuzu) Kozan in 1868. However, unlike Kozan, who would move his entire operation to Yokohama, Rokubei made the decision to remain in Kyoto, and although he did create works in the modern style and to suit Western taste, (he was one of the artists commissioned to create pottery for the 1879 visit of former US president Ulysses S. Grant) he maintained a fairly conservative oeuvre oriented toward the Japanese aesthetic. He excelled in porcelain wares, and was much lauded in his lifetime being awarded at a multitude of domestic exhibitions as well as internationally in Paris, Sydney and Amsterdam. Like his forebearers, he was very much a part of the Kyoto scene at the time, and many works created by Rokubei III were decorated by top painters of the era. Important works by poet/artist/nun Otagaki Rengetsu were created in the studio of Rokubei III. Work by Rokubei III is held in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of art New York, the Kyoto Hakubutsukan Museum and Ashmolean among others.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1920 item #1451591 (stock #TCR3063)
The Kura
$1,600.00
A large and unusual Raku hand warmer (Shuro) in the shape of a monkey Charm (sarubobo) by representative Kyoto artist Kiyomizu Rokube IV (Rokuko, 1847-1920) dating circa 1920 enclosed in the original signed wooden box. The Sarubobo is a Mingei Monkey Charm from the Gifu area, here recreated in the low-fired Raku pottery tradition of Kyoto and seated on the original silk pillow. The walls of this unusual piece of Raku ware are more than 1/2 inch (1.5 cm) thick, making it quite sturdy. It is roughly 10 inches (25 cm) tall, 9 inches (23 cm) diameter and weighs 9 pounds minus ash (4.5 kg). Although not broken in half, the lid on the monkeys back cracked during firing, the glaze appears to be sealing over the crack. Otherwise it is in excellent condition. Engraved in the back is the signature A 73 year old Rokube, followed by his six sided seal. Inside the box is written Made by the 73 year old man Rokuko, endorsed by his successor Rokube V (Rokuwa). Written on back of the piece in ink is Rokube Raku Yaki, Sarubobo Shuro Number II. This would indicate there were originally two of these made as a set as is typical in Japan, however only one has survived.
Kiyomizu Rokubei IV (1848-1920) was born the first son of Rokubei III and headed the family kiln from 1883-1913.He studied painting in the Shijo manner under Shiiokawa Bunrin and had a brotherly relationship with his fellow student Kono Bairei (under whom his own son would study painting). He sought to revitalize the pottery tradition of Kyoto, bringing in new techniques and styles and together with artists like Asai Chu and Nakazawa Iwata took part in the Entoen group and with Kamizaka Sekka the Keitobi-kai. He also held a strong relationship with literati artists such as Tomioka Tessai and together with these artists produced many joint works. He fell ill in 1902, finally handing the reins over to the 5th generation in 1913. He supplied the kiln for pottery genius Kawai Kanjiro, for which the world of ceramics owes him a very great debt.  
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1900 item #1451532 (stock #TCR8219)
The Kura
$2,400.00
A large Dobin earthenware tea pot of dark red clay striated about the rim with a dusting of yellow ochre glaze by Kiyomizu Rokubei II enclosed in the original singed wooden box dating from the later Edo period (1811-1838). Interestingly, it comes in the original signed wooden box bearing impressed in red ink all the stamps of Rokubbei I and II across the bottom. I have never seen this before on any box. The core is roughly 9 inches (23 cm) diameter, and the handle is almost 11 inches (28 cm) high. Despite teh size, it is thinly potted and surprisingly light. There is a small nick to the edge of the inner rim (see las photo for closeup) otherwise is in excellent condition. A large Dobin Tea Pot similar to this but with projecting handle by Rokubei III is held in the Tokyo National Museum (Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan).
Kiyomizu Rokubei II (Koto Shojiro, 1790-1860) was born the son of Rokubei I in 1790 (when Rokubei I was already 52 years old) and studied under his father until his passing in 1799. His training incomplete, from 9 to 20 he worked at various kilns, absorbing many styles before returning to take up the reins in 1811. During his reign Rokubei II greatly expanded the repertoire of the family line. He successfully rode the boom years of the Bunka Bunsei eras, steering the family into a leadership role of the pottery movement in Kyoto. Rokubei II officially retired in 1838, passing the kiln to his second son and taking the name Rokuichi. In 1840, at the bequest of the Feudal Lord (Daimyo) of Echigo (modern day Niigata), he opened the Oyama pottery kiln, which began production in 1843. He is said to have studied porcelain wares later in life and quietly added this genre to the family repertoire which was perfected by the following generation. Work by Rokubei II is held in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of art New York, and the Kyoto Hakubutsukan Museum among others.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Paintings : Pre 1800 item #1451286 (stock #Z089)
The Kura
$2,500.00
A man in a broad hat and straw raincoat with a hoe over his shoulder deftly brushed by Omotesenkei Tea Master Kakukakusai huddles against the rain on his way to the fields below a long cursive inscription by the Buddhist priest Diashin Gito. Poetry, being open to interpretation, is difficult, but I feel he is comparing the monastic life of the priest to that of an old man without grandchildren, who must go out and till the fields alone. The inscription by Daishin Gito is signed The 74 year old man Murasakino Daishin To-dai dating the work to 1730, the last year of both his venerable life and that of his student who painted the image below. The scroll is 26 x 151 cm (10-1/4 x 59-1/2 inches). The paper has grayed with age, but is in overall excellent condition, and has been completely remounted in a manner reflecting the original with an ichimonji of antique white cloth embroidered with scrolling vines set into a field of crushed gray paper (momigami) typical of Zen mountings extended with beige silk and featuring dark wood rollers. Ready to go for another three hundred years! For examples of the seals of Daishin see p. 220 figure 247, Daitokuji Rekidai Bokuseki. For Kakukakusia see Rakkan Kao Daijiten by Ota Eichi, (1982) page 295 of book 1.
Kakukakusai Sosa (1678-1730, aso read Kakkakusai), the 6th head of Omotesenkei, was son of Hisada Sozen adopted as a child by the 5th generation Zuiryusai. He served as Tea Master for the Kishu Tokugawa family, and was a student of Zen training under Daishin Gito.
Daishin Gito (1657-1730) was a monk of Rinzai-sect of Zen Buddhism trained as a disciple of Tenrin Sokotsu at Daitokuji Temple monastery from the age of ten. His skill at administration found him appointed head of Koto-in Subtemple in 1686, and was subsequently appointed the 273rd Abbot of the entire Daitoku-ji temple complex in 1709. He was summoned to Edo (modern Day Tokyo), then home of the military government, where se herved as head of Tokai-ji Temple. He later returned to Daitokuji and lived out his remaining years there. Daitokuji is considered the home of the Japanese Tea Ceremony and connections have long been established between the temple and the nearby Ura and Omote Senkei Tea Schools. Work by Daishin is held in the Minneapolis Institute of Art. You may find more on this important Zen priest in: Zen Mind Zen Brush by the late John Stevens (2006).
All Items : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Pre 1940 item #1450461 (stock #MOR8198)
The Kura
$1,700.00
A delicate tray of red burled wood in the shape of a long basho-leaf curled over at the end enclosed in a custom-made wooden box titled Basho-ha Kobon (Banana-leaf Incense Tray) annotated inside by a collector. It is 68 cm (27 inches) long and in excellent condition, dating from the early 20th century.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Porcelain : Pre 1900 item #1453731 (stock #TCR4840)
The Kura
Sold, Thank you!
A set of five porcelain tea cups by Ninnami Dohachi decorated with bamboo and poetry by Nukina Kaioku (Suo) enclosed in a superb custom period kiri-wood box with rosewood edges. Each cup is 2 inches (5 cm) tall, 2-1/2 inches (6 cm) diameter. There are old gold repairs to two of the cups, otherwise are in fine condition.
Nukina Kaioku (1778-1863) was born into a samurai family in Awa, on the island of Shikoku a patron of the Hachisuka clan. In frail health, he was excluded from the strict rigours of the martial arts, but was trained in the typical Confucian education based on Chinese classics, painting and calligraphy, at which he excelled. He went to Koyasan to study Buddhism, Literati arts in Nagasaki and advanced Confucian studies in Edo(Tokyo). He settled in Kyoto where he established the Shuseido Academy teaching Confucian studies, and his circle was extremely influential in the waning days of the Edo government, especially among loyalists. Works by this artist can be found in the British Museum, Brooklyn Museum, The Walters Art Museum, Honolulu Museum, as well as a plethora of domestic museums in cluding MOMAT, Homma, Imabari, Itabayashi etc.
The Dohachi Kiln was established in Awataguchi by a retainer of Kameyama fief, Takahashi Dohachi I around 1760, and the name Dohachi was brought to the forefront of porcelain and ceramic production by the second generation head of the family who attained an imperial following, and grew to be one of the most famous potters of the Later Edo period to come from Kyoto.
Ninnami Dohachi (1783-1855) was born the second son of Takahashi Dohachi I in Kyoto. He opened a kiln in the Gojo-zaka area of Kyoto (at the foot of Kiyomizu temple) in 1814. Well known for research into and perfection of ancient Chinese and Korean forms long held in high esteem in Japan, and at the same time working to expand the family reputation within tea circles, along with contemporaries Aoki Mokubei and Eiraku Hozen became well known as a master of porcelain as well as Kenzan and Ninsei ware. Over the following decades he would be called to Takamatsu, Satsuma, Kishu and other areas to consult and establish kilns for the Daimyo and Tokugawa families as well as Nishi-Honganji Temple. He is also held in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Kyoto National Museum among others.
The third generation (1811-1879) was known as Kachutei Dohachi and continued the work of his father, producing an abundance of Sencha tea ware and other porcelain forms, maintaining the highest of standards and ensuring the family place in the anals of Kyoto ceramics well into the Meiji period.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1920 item #1453292 (stock #TCR8254)
The Kura
Sold, Thank you!
A set of 20 fawn dappled Gohon cups decorated with blue Bell-flowers (Kikyo) by Kiyomizu Rokubei enclosed in the original signed wooden box titled Gohon Kikyo Banchawan Nijuko Iri (Gohon Bell-Flower Bancha Tea Cup 20 piece Set). Inside the box is dated the 9th month of Taisho 11 (1922). The artis was very fond of this particular flower, and you will see it repeated often in his work. One cup has a small gold repair to the rim, (see close-up photos) otherwise they are all in perfect condition and come wrapped in the original stamped cloths.
Kiyomizu Rokubei V (Shimizu Kuritaro, 1875-1959) initially studied painting and decorating technique under Kono Bairei, one of the foremost painters in Japan in the Meiji era. After graduating the Kyoto Municipal Special School of Painting, he took a position under his father at the family kiln however. That same year he exhibited his first work at the National Industrial Exposition. He was a co-founder of Yutoen with his father and Asai Chu, and worked ceaselessly to promote the pottery of Kyoto. He helped to establish the Kyoto Ceramics Research Facility (Kyoto Tojiki Shikensho) at the turn of the century which would be the proving ground for many young artist of the era. Doctor Maezaki Shinya has noted that Teishitsu-Gigei-in (Imperial Art Academy Member) Seifu Yohei III also fired his acclaimed works in the Rokubei kiln in the Taisho era. Due to his father’s poor health Rokubei V took the reins unofficially in 1902, commanding the helm until assuming the name Rokubei V in 1913. It was in 1928 that Rokubei changed the reading of the family name from Shimizu to Kiyomizu and applied it retroactively to previous generations. He exhibited constantly, and garnered a great many awards. He worked to get crafts added to the National Art Exhibition (Bunten/Teiten) and served as a judge in 1927, the first year crafts were allowed. In 1937 he was designated a member of the Imperial Art Council (Teishitsu Bijutsu Inkai). Despite changes in the world around him Rokubei persevered, working in all manner of materials and styles. He retired in 1945, perhaps as exhausted as Japan was with the end of the war, or perhaps seeing that capitulation would signal a new era in need of new leaders and a new aesthetic. He passed the name Rokubei to his son and took the retirement name Rokuwa. Uncontainable he continued to create pottery under that name until his death in 1959. His influence is so pervasive he was voted one of the most important potters of the modern era by Honoho magazine, the preeminent quarterly devoted to Japanese pottery. A multitude of works by him are held in the The National Museums of Modern Art, both in Tokyo and Kyoto, the Kyoto Kyocera Museum, The Kyoto Hakubutsukan Museum and the Philadelphia Art Museum among others.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Porcelain : Pre 1920 item #1452789 (stock #TCR8245)
The Kura
Sold, with thanks!
A porcelain Tile used to support a Ryoro brazier by Hakuun of Kyoto decorated with vibrantly bristling bamboo by the literati painter Tanaka Hakuin enclosed in the original signed wooden box. The octagonal tile is hollow in the center to dissipate heat and allow it to sit evenly on Tatami matts if necessary. It is roughly 14.2 cm (5-1/2 inches) across and in excellent condition.
Tanaka Hakuin (birth name Nakagawa Keizaburo, 1866-1934) was born in Suruga, Shizuoka prefecture in the last years of the Edo period and became a student of Tanomura Chokunyu in Kyoto, the cultural heartland of Japan, at the age of 17. This was a tumultuous period as Western ideas and Technology were flooding into Japan. He was the top pupil of Chokunyu, working in the style of both Chikuden and his mentor. At this time he used the name Tanomura Hakuin. In 1900 he married and moved to Hofu city in Yamaguchi prefecture taking his wifes family name Tanaka as his surname, and thereafter was known as Tanaka Hakuin. He established a school for painting where he worked for his remaining years. Work by him is held in the Mori Art Museum and Honolulu.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1900 item #1452788 (stock #TCR8244)
The Kura
Sold, Thank you!
A Sencha Tea brazier called a Ryoro made by Kiyomizu Shichibei of raw dark clay made to contain a burning ember and support a small tea pot. It is 14.5 cm (5-1/2 inches) tall, 10.5 cm (4-1/4 inches) diameter and in excellent condition. Finding such raw pots in good condition is rare, as quite often the heat from the burning coal weakens the clay, and I was very happy to find an example by this rare artist.
Kiyomizu Shichibei I was born in Kyoto the first son of Kiyomizu Rokubei II (Koto Shojiro, 1790-1860). However, he handed over the family name to his younger brother, in 1839 established his own kiln in Kyoto taing the name Shichibei. In 1843 his father was requested by the Daimyo (warlord) of Nagaoka in Echigo (the 10th head of the Makino clan) to open a kiln which would be called Oyama-yaki (not to be confused with the Oyama-Yaki produced in the Shimane area under Rakuzan), and the following year Shichibei went to help assist in the establishment of the kiln and training of the potters. Hi swork is a blend between that of his faterhs and shows the influence of Aoi Mokubei and Ninnami Dohachi, with bold designs in blue and white porcelains being one of his specialties. The second generation Shichibei (1845-1918) continued the tradition, and was exhibited at the National Naikoku Hakurankai Industrial Exhibition and at the Paris World Exposition in 1878. Both generations were very strong in the Sencha Tea world and their works are in high demand.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1900 item #1452501 (stock #TCR8237)
The Kura
Sold, with thanks!
This is a very interesting look at the liberal advancement of the Rokubei Kiln in the 19th century. A wide chawan tea bowl hand formed by Shunko (Haruka) decorated with a blossoming plum by Suzuki Shonen enclosed in a custom wooden box titled Umenoga chawan (tea bowl with plum). It bears the impressed seal Shunko inside the foot-ring. Stylistically these are very much in keeping with the works of Otagaki Rengetsu, many of which were also fired at the Rokubei Kiln under the watch of the fourth generation. It is likely that the women at the kiln would have gotten along well with each other, and possibly even worked side by side. That said I have found no records of the names of the female members of the Rokubei household. The bowl is 16 cm (6-1/4 inches) diameter. There are some stress cracks from the rim about the plum branch, either a very tight repair or simply cracked but not broken. The box inscription reads:
Handmade by Mother (unreadable) Female Shunko (alternate reading Haruka)
Decorated by the Old Friend Shonen
Fired by Father 4th Generation Shorin (Shorin was an alternate name used by Rokubei IV)
Annotated by the 5th Generation Rokubei followed by two stamps
Kiyomizu Rokubei IV (1848-1920) was born the first son of Rokubei III and headed the family kiln from 1883-1913.He studied painting in the Shijo manner under Shiiokawa Bunrin and had a brotherly relationship with his fellow student Kono Bairei (under whom his own son would study painting). He sought to revitalize the pottery tradition of Kyoto, bringing in new techniques and styles and together with artists like Asai Chu and Nakazawa Iwata took part in the Entoen group and with Kamizaka Sekka the Keitobi-kai. He also held a strong relationship with literati artists such as Tomioka Tessai and together with these artists produced many joint works. He fell ill in 1902, finally handing the reins over to the 5th generation in 1913.
Suzuki Shonen (1849-1918) studied under his father Suzuki Hyakunen and served as a professor at the Kyoto Municipal School of Painting. Born in Kyoto, he lived through the tumultuous early years of change in the Meiji era, when Japan was opened to outside influence for the first time in 3 centuries. Reflecting the times, he established his own unique style of painting which blended aspects of Nanga and the Shijo School, with influences from Otsu-e and Western Perspective. Much lauded in his lifetime, he was awarded a silver medal at the Paris World Exhibition in 1900. He is well known as the teacher of Uemura Shoen, one of the most important artists of the era. Works by this artist are held in the collection of the Victoria Albert Museum, British Museum, Ashmolean, Kyoto Municipal Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Seattle Art Museum among many many other important private and public collections.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1900 item #1452289 (stock #TCR8235)
The Kura
Sold, Thank you!
A small Nodate-chawan tea bowl decorated outside with a long poem dated early summer 1870, and decorated inside with a symbol of longevity, an ancient pine enclosed in the original signed wooden box with matching date. The opening characters of the verse Furotei Dojin (House of the immortal sage)… I am not a scholar, and cannot read all of the poem, but it appears to lament the drastic changes and questions upon whom to rely upon. It ends Early Summer, Kanoe-Year (in the ten year cycle of 1850 1860, 1870 or 1880) Signed Shoun (a poetic named used by Rokubei III) followed by his stamp. The bowl is 11 cm (4-1/2 inches) diameter and in excellent condition.
A touch of historical background for the early summer of 1870…Battles raged across Japan in 1868, with the restoration of the Meiji emperor and fall of the Tokugawa Shogun made official on October 23rd. Subsequently over the following year the emperor vacated the Kyoto palace, moving to Tokyo, where the new capitol was declared. The Samurai army escaped to Hokkaido, where they established a new country called Ezo, but were overrun and defeated by the summer of 1869. In October of the same year Omuro Masajiro, the samurai born father of the Modern Japanese Army, and his associates were assassinated in Kyoto (He died later of his wounds). Shortly thereafter the Feudal armies of the Daimyo warlords were abolished, and Samurai privileges were rescinded. The fledgling new government was attempting to remake the nation in a modern image after 250 years of feudalism. Still there was no national currency or national newspaper and times were very insecure for the average citizen.
Rokubei III (Koto Kuritaro, 1820-1883) was born in Kyoto second son of Rokubei II. He took over the family kiln even younger than his own father at the age of 18 in 1838. This was the beginning of the Bakumatsu era, the fall of the Edo Shogunate, and Kyoto would play centre stage in this tumultuous era. Vagabonds, Rebels, Reformers and Loyalists made mayhem in the streets and battles raged across the city while foreign powers leveraged unfair treaties against the reluctant Shogun. Many advanced techniques were imported to Japan through Rangaku (Dutch studies) at the open port of Nagasaki and then from a growing number of locations after the arrival of Commodore Perry in 1853. In 1868 the Edo government fell, and the capital was moved to Tokyo. Rokubei III was aware of the advantages of modernism, while maintaining the traditions of the former generations. He went to Yokohama with Miyagawa (Makuzu) Kozan in 1868. However, he was persuaded to remain in Kyoto (along with a branch of the Makuzu family) to modernize the Kyoto ceramic industry, and although he did create works in the modern style and to suit Western taste, (he was one of the artists commissioned to create pottery for the 1879 visit of former US president Ulysses S. Grant) he maintained a fairly conservative oeuvre oriented toward the Japanese aesthetic. He excelled in porcelain wares, and was much lauded in his lifetime being awarded at a multitude of domestic exhibitions as well as internationally in Paris, Sydney and Amsterdam. Like his forebearers, he was very much a part of the Kyoto scene at the time, and many works created by Rokubei III were decorated by top painters of the era. Important works by poet/artist/nun Otagaki Rengetsu were created in the studio of Rokubei III. Work by Rokubei III is held in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of art New York, the Kyoto Hakubutsukan Museum and Ashmolean among others.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Porcelain : Pre 1920 item #1451457 (stock #TCR8217)
The Kura
sold, with thanks!
A full 7 piece Steeped Tea Sencha Tea Set by Kiyomizu Rokubei enclosed in the original age darkened wooden box titled Seika Sansui Chaki. There are five cups, a teapot with lid, and a cooling dish. Each piece is decorated with a unique scene and poem, no two are alike. They show the mastery of brushwork this important potter, originally trained as a painter, possessed. The cups are 8 cm (3-1/4 inches) diameter and all is in excellent condition.
Kiyomizu Rokubei V (Shimizu Kuritaro, 1875-1959) initially studied painting and decorating technique under Kono Bairei, one of the foremost painters in Japan in the Meiji era. After graduating the Kyoto Municipal Special School of Painting, he took a position under his father at the family kiln however. That same year he exhibited his first work at the National Industrial Exposition. He was a co-founder of Yutoen with his father and Asai Chu, and worked ceaselessly to promote the pottery of Kyoto. He helped to establish the Kyoto Ceramics Research Facility (Kyoto Tojiki Shikensho) at the turn of the century which would be the proving ground for many young artist of the era. Doctor Maezaki Shinya has noted that Teishitsu-Gigei-in (Imperial Art Academy Member) Seifu Yohei III also fired his acclaimed works in the Rokubei kiln in the Taisho era. Due to his father’s poor health Rokubei V took the reins unofficially in 1902, commanding the helm until assuming the name Rokubei V in 1913. It was in 1928 that Rokubei changed the reading of the family name from Shimizu to Kiyomizu and applied it retroactively to previous generations. He exhibited constantly, and garnered a great many awards. He worked to get crafts added to the National Art Exhibition (Bunten/Teiten) and served as a judge in 1927, the first year crafts were allowed. In 1937 he was designated a member of the Imperial Art Council (Teishitsu Bijutsu Inkai). Despite changes in the world around him Rokubei persevered, working in all manner of materials and styles. He retired in 1945, perhaps as exhausted as Japan was with the end of the war, or perhaps seeing that capitulation would signal a new era in need of new leaders and a new aesthetic. He passed the name Rokubei to his son and took the retirement name Rokuwa. Uncontainable he continued to create pottery under that name until his death in 1959. His influence is so pervasive he was voted one of the most important potters of the modern era by Honoho magazine, the preeminent quarterly devoted to Japanese pottery. A multitude of works by him are held in the The National Museums of Modern Art, both in Tokyo and Kyoto, the Kyoto Kyocera Museum, The Kyoto Hakubutsukan Museum and the Philadelphia Art Museum among others.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Porcelain : Pre 1920 item #1451233 (stock #TCR8213)
The Kura
Sold, with thanks!
Two Porcelain Tea pots for sencha steeped tea decorated with a cluster of irises and a poem by important early female artist Kawabe Seiran enclosed in the original signed wooden box dated Autum of 1922. Each is roughly 9.5 cm (just less than 4 inches) diameter and both are in excellent condition.
Kawabe Seiran (1868-1931) was a rare female Osaka painter trained in the literati style painting under female artist Hashimoto Seiko in Osaka. She also became adept at Chinese style poetry under Mega Yusho, and calligraphy under Teranishi Ekido and Murata Kaiseki. Through her Juku she served as mentor to a great number of later Osaka female Painters. A retrospective of her life work was held recently at the Mie Prefectural Museum of Art.
All Items : Antiques : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Stoneware : Pre 1900 item #1450788 (stock #TCR8203)
The Kura
Sold, thank you!
A Raku style coil and pinch formed Chawan engraved with a poem by Otagaki Rengetsu enclosed in an old fine quality kiri-wood box annotated by a tea master in Showa 32 (1957), the bowl named Kiju (Gift of the Season). The bowl is hand made, not formed on a wheel, and we can see clearly that she is not a professionally trained potter. The poem engraved into the sides, wrapping entirely around the bowl, reads: Metsuurashiki hito no tame ni to agemaki ga sunadori ki tsuru mo fushitsukafuna followed by her signature and the age 80. Although a known celebratory poem by her I have never found an appropriate translation. It seems to bow slightly, in gratitude for some good fortune perhaps, as the poem suggests. The Chawan is 13 x 12 x 10 cm (roughly 5 inches diameter, 4 inches tall) and is in excellent condition.
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 : Vintage Arts : Regional Art : Asian : Japanese : Pre 1940 item #1450479 (stock #MOR8199)
The Kura
sold, with thanks!
A Grape Leaf Shaped Kobon with a cluster of bulging grapes signed Tetsugai Sanjin To (Carved by Tetsugai of the Mountain) enclosed in the original signed wooden box titled Budo-ha Kobon (Grape Leaf Incense Tray). It is 41 x 43.5 x 2.5 cm (16 x 17-1/2 x 1 inch). It is very thin, showing off the skill of the carver, and remains flat, showing off the long period of drying time and preparation before it was carved. It would appear to be the work of Ito Tetsugai, a carver active in the first half of the 20th century.