Tea bowl with design of fungus of immortality, unknown workshop

Historical period(s)
Edo period, 18th-19th century
Stoneware with iron pigment under clear glaze
Kyoto-related ware
H x W: 8.2 x 14.9 cm (3 1/4 x 5 7/8 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Ceramic, Vessel

Tea bowl

Edo period (1615 - 1868), fungus-of-immortality, Japan, Kyoto-related ware, stoneware, tea

To 1897
Yamanaka and Company, to 1897 [1]

From 1897 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Yamanaka and Company in 1897 [2]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]


[1] See Original Pottery List, L. 519, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives. The majority of Charles Lang Freer’s purchases from Yamanaka & Company were made at its New York branch. Yamanaka & Company maintained branch offices, at various times, in Boston, Chicago, London, Peking, Shanghai, Osaka, Nara, and Kyoto. During the summer, the company also maintained seasonal locations in Newport, Bar Harbor, and Atlantic City.

[2] See note 1.

[3] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Previous Owner(s)

Yamanaka and Co. (C.L. Freer source)
Charles Lang Freer 1854 - 1919


The schematic decoration represents the fungus of immortality, an auspicious emblem derived from Chinese tradition. A high-ranking warrior may well have painted this motif, with the intention of presenting the bowl as a gift to another warrior leader, a retainer, or a government official.

Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum