Dish depicting map of Japan

Detail of a pattern
Image 1 of 2

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At A Glance

  • Period

  • Geography

    Possibly Ohoyama kiln, Arita, Saga prefecture, Japan
  • Material

    Porcelain with cobalt pigment under clear glaze
  • Dimension

    H x W x D (overall): 5.4 x 28.4 x 25.2 cm (2 1/8 x 11 3/16 x 9 15/16 in)
  • Accession Number



Object Details

  • Description

    This rectangular porcelain dish with undulating rim bears a press-molded relief design of a map of Japan and surrounding lands, both actual and imaginary. The decorator used cobalt pigment to outline the provinces of Japan, write the province and country names, and fill the oceans with a rolling pattern of "octopus vinescrolls" (tako karakusa). The wave-like coils of the vinescrolls contrast particularly effectively with the angular outlines and relief texture of the map, and the marked bluish caste of the clear glaze sets off the deep blue of the cobalt. The back of the plate bears a different wave pattern, composed from linked curves and dots suggesting crests and foam, with eight wish-granting jewels floating in the troughs. In the center of the base appears a four-character Japanese date, "Tempo nensei (made in the Tempo era [1830-44])".
  • Collection

    Freer Gallery of Art Collection
  • Exhibition History

    Bountiful Waters: Aquatic Life in Japanese Art (March 8 to September 14, 2014)
    Cornucopia: Ceramics of Southern Japan (December 19, 2009 to January 9, 2011)
  • Origin

    Possibly Ohoyama kiln, Arita, Saga prefecture, Japan
  • Credit Line

    Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
  • Type

  • Restrictions and Rights

    Usage Conditions Apply

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