Medicine case (inro) with design of “eight bridges” (yatsuhashi)

citation

Description: Four-part inro in form of flattened rectangle with rounded corners (probably derived from the coin called ryo). The inset rim of each of the three compartments fits into the base of the compartment above it or into the lid. The four components are secured by a blue-green silk cord passing through two holes in each of the elements, tied in a bow below and secured by the bead (F1984.45b) above and atttached to the toggle (F1984.45c) at the end.

Clay: Light red, fine-grained earthenware.
Glaze: clear, colorless lead glaze, crackled.
Decoration: in underglaze pigments (black, purple, green, blue, white, orange), similar designs of iris and eight-fold bridge (yatsuhashi), stream and banks, bands of mist, on both sides; flying bird on one side only.

Maker(s)
Artist: Miura Ken'ya (1821-1889)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, mid-19th century
Medium
Reddish-buff clay; pigments, enamels under transparent lead glaze.
Dimensions
H x W x D: 8 x 7 x 1.5 cm (3 1/8 x 2 3/4 x 9/16 in)
Geography
Japan, Tokyo, Mukojima
Credit Line
Gift of Stanley D. Fishman
Accession Number
F1984.45a
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Ceramic, Container
Type

Medicine case (inro)

Keywords
bridge, Edo period (1615 - 1868), iris, Japan, medicine, river, water, WWII-era provenance
Provenance

To about 1979
Mr. Hadad, to about 1979 [1]

About 1979
Stanley D. Fishman, Silver Spring, MD, about 1979

From 1984
Freer Gallery of Art, given by Stanley D. Fishman in 1984

Notes:

[1] According to Mr. Fishman, this piece was acquired circa 1979 from a gallery on Wisconsin Avenue run by a Mr. Hadad (see Curatorial Note 5, Louise Cort, July 27, 2004, in object record).

Previous Owner(s)

Stanley D. Fishman

Description

Description: Four-part inro in form of flattened rectangle with rounded corners (probably derived from the coin called ryo). The inset rim of each of the three compartments fits into the base of the compartment above it or into the lid. The four components are secured by a blue-green silk cord passing through two holes in each of the elements, tied in a bow below and secured by the bead (F1984.45b) above and atttached to the toggle (F1984.45c) at the end.

Clay: Light red, fine-grained earthenware.
Glaze: clear, colorless lead glaze, crackled.
Decoration: in underglaze pigments (black, purple, green, blue, white, orange), similar designs of iris and eight-fold bridge (yatsuhashi), stream and banks, bands of mist, on both sides; flying bird on one side only.

Inscription(s)

Signature: Ken'ya, written in black pigment inside rectangular frame, on lower edge of bottom compartment; concealed by knotted cord.

Label

The subject is the "eight bridges" episode off the Tales of Ise, a favorite motif in the Rimpa school, expecially in Korin painting and Kenzan ceramics (see F1902.220). This version suggests the participation of a professional decorator. The bold distortion characteristic of Rimpa is absent; something of late-Edo period naturalism is hinted in the perspective, tonal variations, and flying insects. This manner may have been absorbed from the school of painter Tani Buncho (1764-1840), with whom Ken'ya is occasionally associated.

Published References
  • Richard L. Wilson. The Potter's Brush: The Kenzan Style in Japanese Ceramics. Exh. cat. Washington. cat. 22, p. 91.
  • Kenzan no togei, Zuroku hen (Ceramics of Kenzan, 1663-1743). Exh. cat. Tokyo. p. 132, fig. 11.
  • Richard L. Wilson. The Art of Ogata Kenzan: Persona and Production in Japanese Ceramics., 1st ed. New York and Tokyo. fig. 148.
  • Richard L. Wilson Ogasawara Saeko. Ogata Kenzan: Zensakuhin to sono keifu (His Life and Complete Work). 4 vols., Tokyo. fig. 1283-1, -2.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum