This is a handsome vase dating from the mid 20th century, Showa period. It has a lovely design with the tapered top done in a geometric medium blue color. As the base straightens out to a vertical body, we find a rounded body with a blue stream connecting reserves of the Three Friends of Summer. The back of the vase is primarily a plain white glaze. On the base is a signature that has been translated as “Toho”. It measures 6” high and is 4 ¼” diameter A at its widest. It is in excellent condition. We date it to the 1960s-1970s.
THE THREE FRIENDS - The pine tree, the bamboo, and the plum blossom (song zhú méi) are admired for their perseverance under harsh conditions, and are together known as the "Three Friends in Winter". The "Three Friends" is traditionally used as a system of ranking in Japan, for example in sushi sets or accommodations at a traditional Ryokan (inn). Pine matsu) is of the first rank, bamboo(také )is of second rank, and plum (ume) is of the third.