Japanese Antiques by Ichiban Oriental and Asian Art

A Kyo Yaki Bowl with Daruma Portrait â Meiji

A Kyo Yaki Bowl with Daruma Portrait – Meiji

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Stoneware: Pre 1900: Item # 1271075

Please refer to our stock # 18gg** when inquiring.
This is a summer chawan (tea bowl)- or simply a bowl - that is probably from the Kyo-Yaki ware potters. The bowl has the face of a scowling Daruma on one side – the top of his head actually goes over the rim and into the top rim of the inside of the bowl. There are five Kanji characters on the other side of the bowl and an impressed signature on the foot.

The impressed signature was not legible enough for my friend to translate. It is possible that the signature is that of Tosa, a noted Meiji Japanese potter. On the base is an impressed mark in a pentagon shaped frame. It is very similar to the mark as shown in the classic reference book, Catalogue of the Morse Collection of Japanese Pottery by Edward S. Morse. Tosa was a potter who lived in Gosjosaka and learned his art from the Rokubei Family. He follows typical Kiyomizu style and his work shows taste and originality.

The characters on the side of the bowl were described by him this way: “The writing is five large Kanji characters, reading from right to left. "Hibi Kore kou jitsu" (which means – “Every day is a fine day”). The left signature starts with ichi (one) but the rest is not readable. The writing’s meaning, “Enjoy daily life whether it is clear day or not, enjoy even a rainy day.” - a Zen philosophy.

The piece measures 6” diameter and is 2 ½” high at the rim. It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks or restorations. The semi-circular line in iron brown seen in photo #8 is not a crack - it is the top of the Daruma's head flowing up and over the rim of the bowl. We date it to the mid to late Meiji period, circa 1880s-1900.