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.

Incredible Bizen Mizusashi Water Container Named Samidare


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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Stoneware: Pre 1900: Item # 1487857
The Kura
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23 Murasakino Monzen-cho
Kita-ward Kyoto 603-8216
tel.81-75-201-3497
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 $3,500.00 
A radical Bizen Mizusashi with two lacquered wooden lids enclosed in a black lacquered wooden box with gold lacquer writing titled Samidare which is in turn enclosed in a kiri-wood storage box by the same title compartmentalized to allow the lids to be stored safely. Samidare is a poetic reading for Rain of the Fifth Month (June in the traditional calendar). It has a seal of overlapping rings impressed into the earth of the base, and dates from the Edo period. The lids are for differing events, one black lacquered, the other covered with gorgeous gold and silver maki-e clouds with a soaring nightingale in gold, inside the ghost of a crescent moon. The Vessel itself is crusted with ash and dribbles of ocher with kutsuki on the side where something adhered to it in the firing. Inside the trials of the artist fingers are clearly visible. The receptacle is 23 x 20 x 15 cm (9 x 8 x 6 inches) ad is in overall excellent original condition. A very impressive presentation. Inside the Kiri box is written that the piece was viewed by The honorable Mr. Inoue upon his visit in Meiji 45 (1912). Inside the black lacquered lid is a paper tablet which reads Matsue-jo Nushi Fumaiko Hakogaki (Box written by Fumaiko of Matsue Castle).
Among the successive lords of the Matsue domain was the 7th lord of the Matsudaira family, famous tea master and Zen acolyte Harusato Matsudaira (1751-1818). He is known by many people simply as Fumai, the name he took after shaving his head in retirement in 1806. At the age of 17 he became the lord of the fief; the domain was in dire financial trouble. Harusato appointed Goho Asahi Tanba as chief retainer and promoted a fiscal reconstruction plan. While making great efforts to reduce expenditures, such as reducing debts within the domain and reviewing the domain's personnel structure, they also sought to increase income through industrial promotion measures such as the cultivation of medicinal ginseng and wax. He succeeded in restoring the domain's prosperity. After rebuilding the domain's finances, he focused his efforts on collecting tea utensils that had been scattered one after another from feudal lords of the time. The collected items were later called ``Unshu specialties,'' and are highly valued by lovers of tea ceremony and art. Harusato's great achievement in the history of the tea ceremony was his 18-volume book, in which he further classified famous tea utensils. He also promoted arts and crafts within the Matsue domain, supporting many craftsmen in the worlds of pottery, lacquer, and woodwork.