Masterful traditional craftsmanship and a masterpiece of a dual-wield swordsman and so on.

Masterful traditional craftsmanship and a masterpiece of a dual-wield swordsman and so on.

April 18, 2022

Cherry blossoms have already fallen in my area. It's a very short time to enjoy viewing Sakura but we look forward to the short time during a year, and worth it. The temperature is getting warm and comfortable. How about your area? This time I went on a business trip to an antique market in Hiroshima. As you know, I am specialized in paintings. The turn of the auction of the painting is the last in the auction market. I have to wait until the other antique auction finishes. However, I did not just wait for my turn, I concentrated and focused to get great items other than paintings. I would like to introduce some of them.

Second Choraku

Ogawa Choraku 2nd Shimadai Tea Bowls

The artist of this tea bowl is Ogawa Choraku 2nd. He was born in Kyoto as the eldest son of Ogawa Choraku 1st. Ogawa Choraku 2nd is designated as an artist for the preservation of art. There are two tea bowls. Actually, they are a set of two. Shimadai tea bowls are overlapping Akaraku tea bowls covered with gold and silver leaf. Two tea bowls are stacked to represent Mount Horai. Mount Horai is a legendary mountain where immortal immortals are said to live. In other words, it is a symbol of good fortune.

You would see that the gold and silver leaf inside is peeled off to reveal the underlying Akaraku. This is because the gold and silver leaf peels off when the tea is mixed with dark green tea, and it is thought to be very auspicious to receive it.


See the back. The left side is pentagonal and the right side is hexagonal. Each represents a crane and a tortoise. In other words, they represent the meaning of longevity. Gold, silver, Mount Horai, cranes, and turtles are all auspicious. Therefore, this bowl is used for the first tea ceremony of the New Year. It began with Kawakami Fuhaku, the founder of the Omotesenke Fushaku school. It has a history of 300 years.


Cast bronze Okimono Two Swans

These ornaments are two swans. They are made of cast bronze. The elegance of the form of the swans is well expressed by not expressing the details. The silver shine is also eye-catching.


What is at the end of a straight stare?


Is this one relaxing or napping?


Shunkei Nuri Bending Kensui

I personally love Shunkei Nuri. Look at the beauty of this transparent lacquer. This is Hida Shunkei lacquerware made in the Hida region. The beauty of the wood surface is preserved and finished with transparence lacquer. The real one is more beautiful than the photo. Because it reflects light and shines.


Since it is made for Kensui, the inside is circular. Kensui is one of the tea ceremony utensils. It is a container in which hot and cold water is discarded after rinsing the tea bowl during the tea ceremony. It is sometimes called a "Mizukoboshi" or "koboshi.


Sometsuke Okegawa Mizusashi

This water jar is painted in white and blue. It is one of the tea ceremony utensils. It is used to store water for adding water to the tea kettle and for washing tea bowls and tea whisks in the tea ceremony. Sometsuke is blue-and-white porcelain. Then, what is an Okegawa? It literally means the side of the tub. The name comes from the vertical stripes on the body, which are reminiscent of the side of a tub. One of the features is the lightning pattern. The upper part of the square has a spiral pattern.


The lid handle is also beautifully decorated in underglaze blue.

Ogata Kenzan

Kenzan Style Tea Bowl

This tea bowl is made in the motif of Ogata Kenzan's tea bowls. Ogata Kenzan was a ceramic artist in Kyoto in the mid-Edo period. The painter Ogata Korin is his elder brother. Ogata Kenzan learned techniques from Nonomura Ninsei, whom we introduced in other blogs before, but he succeeded in designing in the Rinpa school of painting, which was founded by his brother Ogata Korin.


His conception of the intersection of three-dimensional and flat surfaces is playful even to us today. Even today, the novel designs and glittering decorations are still favored and are created with great respect by contemporary kyoyaki artists.

Rai Sanyo

Rai Sanyo (1781-1832) Sansui Landscape

Rai Sanyo was a historian and Confucian scholar in Hiroshima in the late Edo period. Basically, most of his works are calligraphy, but occasionally we come across hanging scrolls depicting landscapes. This is because he interacted with various painters in Kyushu and Kyoto when he was young. For example, Okada Hanko, Uragami Shunkin, and Tanomura Chikuden. Incidentally, I often travel to the Hiroshima area on business, so I often come across his works.

Miyamoto Musashi

Reproduction Print of MIYAMOTO MUSASHI Shrike on bare tree

Here is the last piece I present. It is a print. You may be disappointed to hear that it is a print. But this work is a reproduction of a work by the great swordsman Miyamoto Musashi. The original is kept in the Kubosō Memorial Museum of Arts, Izumi.

(quoted from the Digital Museum of the Kuboso Memorial Museum of Art, Izumi) The name of the work is "Koboku Meigekizu / Shrike on a bare tree".


It is a spirited ink painting that could only be created by Musashi, a master of the sword. Even today, it is displayed in the dojo or room of those who practice martial arts such as aikido, kendo, judo, etc., for spiritual improvement. Therefore, even if it is a print, it is still valuable. While it may be important to be concerned about the authenticity of a work of art, it is also important to face the original nature of the work and it is also something that must not be forgotten when enjoying art.