Painted with Intricate & Complex Borders
From our Japanese collection, we are delighted to offer this Japanese Satsuma Vase painted by Okamoto Ryozan for the Yasuda Company. The vase of slightly bulbous form potted with a tapered body reaching a slightly pinched neck and rolled top rim is beautifully decorated with two large scenes. The first scene features a mountainous region with a river flowing through the centre with beautiful wash colours of green. A Bamboo plant can be seen hanging over the left of the scene with two Geishas walking amongst the flowers with children running around them. Further Geishas can be seen to the far right of the vase in front of a traditional Japanese building. The second scene an upstream version of the first with spectacular pink cherry blossom amongst a central river breaking the land in two with further figures with children. The scenes bordered by a strip gilt border featuring alternating images two depicting a Minogame. The shoulder of the vase is beautifully finished with complex rings of geometric scrolling borders with shades of teal, butterflies and one hundred treasures style decoration above gilt cartouches of the imperial style Kiku (chrysanthemum). The vase is signed to the base Dai Nippon, Kyoto Tojiki, Goshi Kaisha, Okamoto Ryozan 京都陶, 磁器合, 資会社,岡曰本亮山 with the Yasuda Company Mark (Yasuda Kyoto Tojiki Goshikaisha) which translates as the Yoshida Kyoto Ceramic Joint Stock Company and dates to the Meiji Period (1868-1912) circa 1900.
Yasuda Company was founded in 1896 by Gensei and Yoshizaburo Yasida two brothers from Kyoto. The companies full name is Yasuda Kyoto Tojiki Goshikaisha which translates to Yoshida Kyoto Ceramic Joint Stock Company. They were a manufacturer and dealership based in Kyoto and active during the second half of the Japanese Meiji-era specialising in decorative works including Cloisonne and Ceramics, today they are best-known for their Satsuma pottery wares. The company gained a good reputation and great respect for their high quality works which were executed by some of the best artists of their time. As well as Okamoto Ryozan, they worked with celebrated artists such as Sozan, Kizan, Hozan and Seikozan.
Ryozan was born Nakamura Tatsunosuke and was trained by the legendary 10th generation potter Nishimura Zengoro who himself, used the artist’s name “Ryozan”. After Nishimura’s death in 1851, Nakamura Tatsunosuke adopted the name “Okatomo Ryozan” in order to pay tribute to and honour his master. Ryozan went on to become the Head Artist at the Yasuda Company of Kyoto where he confirmed his reputation as one of the great Satsuma artists of the generation.
Minogame 蓑亀 are long-lived turtles with long strands of algae growing from their shells. The algae drapes down from their shells and resembles a farmer’s straw raincoat (mino) from which they get their name. They are considered very auspicious creatures throughout East Asia. The long algae on their backs is reminiscent of the long beards of sages and wise men. Because of this and their long life span, they are a symbol of long life and prosperity and appear frequently in paintings, sculpture in Japanese culture. The minogame is a symbol of longevity and happiness and has an important role in the well-known legend of Urashima Taro.
Meiji Period was an era of Japanese history that spanned from 1868 to 1912. It was the first half of the Empire of Japan, when the Japanese people began to build a paradigm of a modern, industrialised nation state and emergent great power, influenced by Western countries and aesthetics. As a result of radically different ideas, the changes to Japan were profound and it affected the social structure, politics, economy, military, and foreign relations across the board. The period corresponded to the reign of Emperor Meiji and was preceded by the Keio era and was succeeded by the Taisho era.
Cultural Art during the Meiji Period was of particular interest to the government and they overhauled the art export market which in turn promoted Japanese arts via various world’s fairs, beginning in Vienna at the world fair in 1873. The government heavily funded the fairs and took an active role organising how Japan’s culture was presented to the world including creating a semi-public company named Kiritsu Kosho Kaisha (First Industrial Manufacturing Company). The Kiritsu Kosho Kaisha was used to promote and commercialise exports of Japanese art and established the Hakurankai Jimukyoku (Exhibition Bureau) to maintain quality standards. For the 1876 Centennial International Exhibition in Philadelphia, the Japanese government created a Centennial Office and sent a special envoy to secure space for the 30,000 items that would be displayed. The Imperial Household also took an active interest in arts and crafts, commissioning works by select artists to be given as gifts for foreign dignitaries further emphasising the high quality and importance of Japanese art. Just before the end of the 19th century in 1890, the Teishitsu Gigeiin (Artist to the Imperial Household) system was created to recognise distinguished artists. These artists were selected for their exceptionally high quality wares and talent in their own industry. Over a period of 54 years Seventy artists were appointed, amongst these were ceramicist Makuzu Kozan and cloisonné enamel artist Namikawa Yasuyuki.
Satsuma ware is a type of earthenware pottery originating from the Satsuma province in Southern Kyushu, Japan’s third largest island.
Measurements 18.5cm High x 15.5 Diameter ( 7.28 x 6.1 Inches)
Condition Excellent, no damage and no restoration
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