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.
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An important Fushina Yaki Sencha Rodai, Tanomura Chokunyu

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Tea Articles: Pre 1900: Item # 1453322

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The Kura
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817-2 Kannonji Monzen-cho
Kamigyo-ku Kyoto 602-8385
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An important and rare Fushinayaki Pottery Sencha tea brazier Rodai decorated by Tanomura Chokunyu and made in the former castle kiln of Izumo province. A simple hut is shaded by a grand tree at the foot of a tree covered mountain accompanied by a poem in Kanshi. The tile was meant to be placed under a Ryoro brazier for making steeped tea. It is 7 inches (18 cm) square, 1 inch (2 cm) thick. It bears two stamps beneath, Isumo Jakuzan and Eizo, and is dated Meiji 12 (1879) in red. About the signature are what appear to be tangled plum branches in raised white. This date was one year before the kiln went public and began producing pottery for export. It is auspicious, and very likely that the great Tanomura was asked to assist with the kiln going public. The box is titled Unshu Fushina yaki, Sensei Chokunyu Kyoshi Seisho, Rodai. Inside it is annotated by Hirao Chikka in 1933 on the right, an unknown person on the let, possibly one of the sons of Chikunyu although the word for father here is ambiguous.
Tanomura Chokunyu (1814-1907) was born in Oita (the Oka Feif) and studied initially under Okamoto Baisetsu before moving to paint under the famous literatus Tanomura Chikuden (1777-1835), who adopted him as a son and had a very strong influence on the young artist. Upon Chikudens death he also studied briefly under Oshio Chusai (1792-1837) then finally ventured out on his own upon that teachers passing. He was a strong proponent of the Literati and Sencha movements, and decorated many items for use in that realm. He moved to Kyoto, where he helped found the Kyoto Municipal School of painting and eventually withdrew from the world, becoming an Obaku Zen Monk in 1902. For more on his influence on tea and the literati see “Sencha,Tea of the Sages” by Patricia Graham.
Fushina-yaki was the Goyogama clan kiln of the Matsudaira of Matsue Han in modern day Izumo, established around 1764. It fell strongly under the aesthetic taste of Matsudaira Harusato (1751-1818) Daimyo of the province and tea master. It became an important influence on the Mingei movement and was visited by Bernard Leach, Hamada Shoji and Kawai Kanjiro.
Hirao Chikka (1856-1939) was born the son of a potter. At the age of 16 he went to Kyoto to train as a painter, first in the Shijo manner under Shiokawa Bunrin, and following the death of Bunrin, in the Nanga tradition under Tanomura Chokunyu. He travelled extensively withhis teacher and on his own, absorbing various local traditions. An important artist he assisted in the founding of the Nihon Nanga-in organization of painters.