Koto ware tea bowl with design of yuzuriha

Historical period(s)
Edo period, mid 19th century
Porcelain with white slip and cobalt pigment under clear glaze
Koto ware
H x Diam: 6.5 × 12.5 cm (2 9/16 × 4 15/16 in)
Japan, Shiga prefecture, Hikone
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Ceramic, Vessel

Tea bowl

bamboo, Edo period (1615 - 1868), Japan, Koto ware, tea

To 1901
Bunkio Matsuki (1867-1940), Boston, to 1901 [1]

From 1901 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Bunkio Matsuki in Boston in 1901 [2]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [2]


[1] See Pottery List, L. 1010, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

[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) and Custodian(s)

Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919
Bunkio Matsuki (C.L. Freer source) 1867-1940


The Koto official kiln operated for the Ii domain of Hikone, near Kyoto, only from 1842-1862.  Staffed by potters from Seto, Kutani and Kyoto, it specialized in porcelain.  Although executed in porcelain, this bowl has been coated with thick white slip to replicate the appearance of certain Korean tea bowls.  The sixteenth lord of the domain, Naosuke, was a noted tea master, and records document his frequent use of new Koto tea wares in ceremonies conducted in Hikone Castle.

The yuzuriha (Daphniphillum macropodum) is an auspicious plant conveying the hope that the father will not pass away before this son has become an adult able to succeed (yuzuru) him. It is incorporated into New Year decorations for the household doorway.

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