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A minogame sea turtle adorns in black the gold leaf of this fine sake cup decorated by Morikawa Sobun enclosed in an ancient wooden box. It is 9 cm (3-1/2 inches ) diameter 3 cm (1 inch) tall and in fine condition. The Sea Turtle is a celebratory representation of longevity.
Morikawa Sobun (1847-1902) was born in Kyoto, and studied painting in the Shijo manner under Maekawa Gorei and Hasegawa Gyokuho. He was exhibited widely and prized, including the Naikoku Hakurankai Domestic Expositions as well as being chosen to represent Japan in International Expositions. He served as a professor at the Kyoto Municipal School of painting (fore-runner to the Kyoto University of Art) where he helped to form the ideas of the following generation of painters. Works by him are held in the collection of the Rijks Museum, the British Museum, Ashmolean, V&A, Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Tokyo National Museum, The National Museum of Modern Art in Kyoto and Museum of Modern Art in Shiga among others.