Black Raku tea bowl, copy of “Shishi” by Raku Do’nyu

Artist: Raku Ryōnyū (1756-1834)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, late 18th-early 19th century
Earthenware with Black Raku and colorless glazes
Raku ware
H x Diam: 8.6 x 12.8 cm (3 3/8 x 5 1/16 in)
Japan, Kyoto prefecture, Kyoto
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Ceramic, Vessel

Tea bowl

copy, Edo period (1615 - 1868), Japan, Raku ware, tea

To 1901
Kano Oshima, to 1901 [1]

From 1900 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Kano Oshima in 1900 [2]

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


[1] See Original Pottery List, L. 850, 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)

Kano Oshima (C.L. Freer source)
Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919


This bowl bears the impression of a distinctive “Raku” seal used by Ryonyu, the ninth head of the Raku workshop. Ryonyu paid tribute to the workshop’s third master, Donyu or Nonko (1599–1656), by copying his tea bowl named “Lion.” Donyu had introduced incised decoration and replaced the matte black glaze used on earlier Raku-style bowls with a glossy glaze applied in thick layers.

Published References
  • Thomas Kerrigan. Raku. Richmond, VA, Spring 1971. fig. 5.
  • Morgan Pitelka. Handmade Culture: Raku Potters, Patrons, and Tea Practitioners in Japan. Honolulu. pl. 10.
  • Oriental Ceramics: The World's Great Collections. 12 vols., Tokyo. vol. 10, pl. 208.
  • Dr. John Alexander Pope, Thomas Lawton, Harold P. Stern. The Freer Gallery of Art. 2 vols., Washington and Tokyo, 1971-1972. cat. 124, vol. 2: p. 183.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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