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.

Antique Japanese Tobe Yaki Vase with Bamboo Basketry

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Porcelain: Pre 1920: Item # 1490628
The Kura
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23 Murasakino Monzen-cho
Kita-ward Kyoto 603-8216
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A beautiful ivory white vase in the shape of a handled-wooden-bucket, the outside wrapped with woven bamboo forming an outer bamboo basket shell, with the handle wrapped in bamboo rope. It is 42 cm (16 inches) tall and in excellent condition, enclosed in an age darkened wooden box titled Tobe-yaki Kabin signed by the maker. Inside the lid is an inscription stating the vase was received as a gift on the 6th day of the 11th month of Taisho 8 (1919).
Tobe-yaki originated in 1777 when Katō Yasutoki, 9th lord of the Ōzu Domain (1769–1787), started hiring potters from Hizen for production of white porcelain (hakuji). The area was long known for production of fine whetstones, and as the amount of whetstone deposits dried up, the waste was powdered for the making of pottery. During the Edo period (1603-1868), Tobe ware developed independently since there was limited information from other competing domains. After the abolition of the feudal system and the establishment of prefectures in 1871 it became possible to import technology from famous production areas such as Karatsu and Seto which led Tobe ware to expand rapidly. As technology started to make mass production possible, Tobe ware expanded its market into Southeast Asia. Then during the Taisho period (1912-1926) and Showa period (1926-1988), porcelain producing areas such as Seto increased their production volume by adopting modern technology like mechanical potter's wheels, leading the handicraft Tobe ware to stagnate. However, Yanagi Soetsu (1889-1961), one of the founders of the Mingei movement lauded its high quality technique, ensuring the tradition continue.