Japanese Antiques by Ichiban Oriental and Asian Art

A Small Japanese Oil Pitcher with Karako â Showa

A Small Japanese Oil Pitcher with Karako – Showa

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Directory: Vintage Arts: Regional Art: Asian: Japanese: Stoneware: Pre 1940: Item # 850766

Please refer to our stock # 37gg when inquiring.
This is a charming little Japanese oil pitcher – or possibly a kendi – with a transfer decoration of several karako at play chasing butterflies. The karako are in underglaze cobalt blue and the pitcher itself is potted in a tan glaze with small brown spots all over and a brown rim at the top on both the inside and the outside of the piece. The pitcher measures 4” diameter by 4 ½” high – it is 1 ¾” diameter at the top. We date the piece to the 1930s, Showa period. It is in excellent condition.

The term “karako” refers generically to small Chinese children as they are portrayed in Japanese art. These children, depicted without reference to a specific sex but usually appearing to be boys, have bare heads except for two small tufts of hair. The "karako" pictures of Chinese children at play on the white porcelain of Mikawachi ware have made it famous as traditional form of craft work unique to Sasebo that has been passed down through the ages to the present day for 400 years. –