A pair of very finely painted sometsuke bowls decorated with alternating reserves of three leaping koi divided by a criss-cross ground or “nets” and a central motif of a Chinese landscape featuring a figure collecting fire wood with his head looking skyward. This is possibly a representation of Ceng Shen (So Shin) collecting fire wood, a disciple of Confucus , who whilst looking at the moon, suddenly became aware that his mother needed him, a popular Confucian parable of filial piety. The symbolism of the bowl can be read on a number of levels, as a wish for the capture of love or wealth, and as an aide memoir not to forget ones parents when one has achieved those goals. Ceng Shen was reputed to have divorced his wife because she presented poorly cooked food to his mother, perhaps also a warning to whoever was preparing the food, as well.
The bowls date to the late Eighteenth century probably to the Meiwa era. They measure 16cm in diameter and stand 3.5cm high. The condition of the bowls is good no chips, cracks or restoration.
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