[Summer Exhibition] Masaki Art Museum Masterpieces
The Masaki Art Museum in Tadaoka-cho, Semboku-gun, Osaka, holds a wide range of tea ceremony utensils, Buddhist art works and archeological materials, focusing on medieval ink paintings and calligraphy. This exhibition is the 10th at the Atrium on the 25th floor of Park Hotel Tokyo. This time, on the theme of tea ceremony utensils, we will introduce works from the collection related to Sakai in Osaka where the museum is located.
Although founder Takayuki Masaki gathered works in various fields, he also worked diligently to collect works related to his locality in Osaka. The exhibits here are a part of the local collection. In fact, they were often used as utensils in the tea ceremony itself.
We hope you enjoy these works collected by tea ceremony adept Takayuki with his eye for beauty, which entertained the guests.
[Date] June 9, 2017 (Fri.) ～ September 14, 2017 (Thu.)
[Place] Atrium, Park Hotel Tokyo (25F)
[Fare] Free of Charge [About the Masterpieces]
1 Holland Bowl with Auspicious Words Edo Period
“Holland fired” refers to ceramics brought from Europe to Japan by the Dutch East India Company during the Edo period. It is known that, from about 1630 onwards, tea ceremony items were ordered from Japan and fired in Holland.
In this work we see, on the outside, a simple pattern of three small animals joined together by ivy, painted in several colors. On the inside, we see large kanji (Chinese character) “fuku” (good luck), which is an unusual design. Because the way of cursively writing the kanji is different from that of Japan, it can be imagined that they were written by Dutch craftsmen, who received an order for a design with “fuku” from Japan, but who were unfamiliar with kanji.
2 Tani Red Raku Square Plates Work by Tani Fumon, 2nd year of Kyowa, Edo Period (1802)
Tani-yaki is a kind of Raku Ware which was started by Zenemon Tani (1675-1741), a tea ceremony adept of Yuyacho in Sakai City, Osaka. Zenemon was a wealthy Sakai merchant who interacted with tea ceremony adepts of the time, and proficient in the tea ceremony. Under the guidance of Sounyu (1664-1716), a 5th generation Raku Ware family artisan whom he invited, he opened a kiln and started firing “Tani-yaki” ware. As examples of works, those of Sounyu, Zenemon and his son Fumon (date of birth and death unknown) still exist today.
These two works are square plates with a lid produced by Fumon, which were part of a set of five. They are fashioned from coarse red clay, and fired with a thick transparent glaze. On the inside of each lid are inscription “Tani Fumon“. From the inscription on the box, it is understood that it was produced in the second year of Kyowa (1802) in the late Edo period.
3 Minato Brazier Work by Kichiemon Ueda, Edo Period
Minato-yaki is ceramic ware made in Minato-cho, Sakai City, Osaka, and is a well-known type of pottery from Sakai. Many of these items were used for the tea ceremony, and this work was also made as a brazier for the ceremony. A brazier is a type of utensil for smoking in which lit charcoal was placed. As it is the utensil that is set in the first room that guests enter, it shows the artistic competence of the host, and can be said to be one of the implements that best reflects the host’s dedication to the tea ceremony.
This is a pair of two works. The body is yellowish white, and is rounded on the potter’s wheel slightly overhanging at the shoulder, with the rim turned back. It has three small feet. On the bottom is the stamped inscription: “Senshu Sakai Hon Minato Yaki Kichiemon“.
4 Tani Black Raku Tea Cup Edo Period
This work, like Work No. 2, is also Tani-yaki. It is finished with plenty of black glaze over the blackish, fine earthenware material. It is hand-molded without using a potter’s wheel, the body rising roughly straight up to the rim, with the middle of the cup slightly scraped out. It is rather small, thin, and light to hold. The side of the foot part is partly unglazed, and bears characters that can be read as “Sounyu” or “Sen” engraved with a spatula.
On the box, “Tani-yaki Red Black Tea Cup” is inscribed by Rokurokusai (1837 ~ 1910), an 11th generation artisan of the Omotesenke, and is said to make a pair with the Tani Red Raku Tea Cup in our collection.