Dish with design of mountain retreat

Artist: Ogata Ihachi (Kyoto Kenzan II) (active 1720-1760)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, mid-18th century
Buff clay; iron pigment, enamels under transparent lead glaze
H x W x D: 2 x 15 x 15 cm (13/16 x 5 7/8 x 5 7/8 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, Container


Edo period (1615 - 1868), Japan, landscape, mountain

To 1901
Siegfried Bing (1838-1905), Paris to 1901 [1]

From 1901 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Siegfried Bing, Paris in 1901

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


[1] See Original Pottery List, L. 955, 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)

Siegfried Bing (C.L. Freer source) 1838-1905
Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919


The Kenzan rectilinear dish with everted edges is know as a gakuzara, or "plaque-dish," based on the resemblance to a framed wall plaque (gaku). The size and shape of this piece, however, suggest that it was used as a mukozuke, a dish (usually containing seafood) that accompanied portions of rice and soup in lacquer-ware bowls, The ensemble was served to each guest on a square tray. The migration of mountain hermitage decor from incense and writing utensils into the dining area also tells of a change in referents. Here it becomes as much a "Kenzan" motif--on of dozens of "vocabularized" signs--as it is an evocation of the scholar's lair.

Published References
  • Richard L. Wilson. The Potter's Brush: The Kenzan Style in Japanese Ceramics. Exh. cat. Washington. cat. 6, p. 67.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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