2013年06月12日

'Kaendoki', a Jomon period earthenware vessel with a flame-shaped rim, has a very unique shape.

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The first kaendoki was dug up at a Jomon period site in Niigata Prefecture in 1936. In ancient Japan in 4,000 B.C., long before rice cultivation method was introduced into the country, all the people were hunter-gatherers with stone implememts. Various kinds of earthenware and household utensils in those days are being excavated everywhere in Japan, however the earthenware vessel in the picture is very unique in shape, which is called flame-shaped vessel as it looks like flames. Most earthenware of this kind can be found in the Tohoku Region and Niigata Prefecture, and somehow it had been produced only for several hundreds years. This vessel is thought to have been used for a religious service as it is too decorative. Adherent carbide to the inside of the vessel suggests that this was used for cooking a meal for religious ceremony or something like that.

Licensed tour guide/travel assistant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 15:53 | Japanese artworks | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2013年02月03日

'Arita-ware' is a porcelain produced centering on Arita Town, Saga Prefecture, and is also called 'Imari' or 'Ko-Imari', since it was shipped from 'Imari', a port town near Arita.

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Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who unified Japan in the 16th century, invaded Korea with the view of annexing the Korean Peninsula. The Nabeshima family, then feudal lord of present Saga Prefecture, took part in the invasion as one of the followers of Hideyoshi,captured Lee Sanpei, the greatest ceramist in Korea, and ordered him to produce white porcelains in Arita.
This was Japan's first white porcelains.
From the 17th to the beginning of of the 19th century, the Nabeshima family had long preserved as well as developed these ceramists in Arita and its vicinity, then closed this area to outsiders in order to keep its cutting-edge technology secret.
In other words, the production of white ceramic was monopolized by the Nabeshima family for more than 200 years.
Through the technological innovation in those days, 'Kakiemon' style was born, which is a unique design with elegant red lines on a milk white base, what is called 'nigoshide'. Sakaida Kakiemon the First, the developer of this new style, has handed down his skill to his descendants.
The first picture shows a masterpiece by Sakaida Kakiemon the 14th, a living national treasure. The old house in the second picture is his private residence.

Licensed tour guide/travel assistant,
Masahisa Takaki.

通訳案内士 高木聖久

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posted by masahisa at 13:09 | Japanese artworks | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2010年11月25日

'Kiriko' means a cut glass put in production in present Kagoshima City in Kyushu and Tokyo in the middle of the 19th century; the former is called 'Satsuma-kiriko', the latter 'Edo-kiriko'.

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A pair of blue glass cups in the picture above is 'Satsuma-kiriko', that was put in production under the orders of 'Shimazu' clan who was one of the powerful feudal lords in southern Kyushu late in the Edo period. 'Satsuma-kiriko' features a thick layer of color glass over a transparent body, on which a brilliant facet is engraved. On the other hand, 'Edo-kiriko' in the picture below reveals a character of a very clear glass body with elaborate cutting and polishing handwork using traditional tools. Since the beginning of Japan's modernization late in the 19th century, along with the introduction of Bohemian glass technology, however 'Edo-kiriko' with color layer has become mainstream.
Thus, it has turned to be very hard to tell the difference between these two types of Japan's handicrafts.

Licensed tour guide/travel assistant,
Masahisa Takaki.

通訳案内士 高木聖久。

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posted by masahisa at 10:25 | Japanese artworks | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする