Square dish with design of Eight Bridges

Artist: Possibly Ogata Kenzan (potter) (1663-1743) Possibly Ogata Kōrin 尾形光琳 (decorator) (1658-1716) Chojiyamachi workshop or a contemporary Kyoto workshop
Historical period(s)
Edo period, 1712-1716
Buff clay with iron pigment under transparent lead glaze; gold lacquer repairs
Kyoto ware
H x W x D: 2.9 x 22 x 21.9 cm (1 1/8 x 8 11/16 x 8 5/8 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, Vessel

Serving dish (kakuzara)

bridge, Edo period (1615 - 1868), iris, Japan, Kyoto ware, lacquer repair

To 1902
Bunkio Matsuki (1867-1940), Boston, to 1902 [1]

From 1902 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Bunkio Matsuki in 1902 [2]

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


[1] See Original Pottery List, L. 1196, 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 shape and size suggest the dish was used as a tray for sweets or other light foods. The decoration refers to the popular "Kakitsubata" episode in chapter vine of the classical Tales of Ise. The hero, based on the real-life Kyoto courtier Ariwara no Narihira, is in exile; he pauses near a bridge over an iris bog in Mikawa, today's Aichi Prefecture, and composes a poem reflecting his estrangement.

Published References
  • Frank Feltens. Ogata Korin: Art in Early Modern Japan. New Haven, CT, October 12, 2021. p. vi and 136, fig. 88.
  • Richard L. Wilson. The Art of Ogata Kenzan: Persona and Production in Japanese Ceramics., 1st ed. New York and Tokyo. fig. 262.
  • Zaigai Nihon no Shiho [Japanese Art: Selections from Western Collections]. 10 vols., Tokyo, 1979 - 1980. vol. 9: pls. 79, 80.
  • Oriental Ceramics: The World's Great Collections. 12 vols., Tokyo. vol. 10, pl. 200.
  • Roger Soame Jenyns. Japanese Pottery. London. pl. 99B.
  • Dr. John Alexander Pope, Thomas Lawton, Harold P. Stern. The Freer Gallery of Art. 2 vols., Washington and Tokyo, 1971-1972. cat. 104, vol. 2: p. 180.
  • Martin P. Amt, Rob Barnard. In Praise of Feet. vol. 18, no. 2 Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts, June 1990. p. 28 and cover.
  • Don Pilcher. Looking at Kenzan., September 2002. p. 63.
  • Martin Feddersen. Japanese Decorative Art: A Handbook for Collectors and Connoisseurs., 1st American ed. New York. p. 73, fig. 44.
  • Masterpieces of Chinese and Japanese Art: Freer Gallery of Art handbook. Washington, 1976. p. 84.
  • Richard L. Wilson. The Potter's Brush: The Kenzan Style in Japanese Ceramics. Exh. cat. Washington. cat. 48, p. 127.
  • Louise Allison Cort. The Kenzan Style in Japanese Ceramics. Watertown, Massachusetts, Autumn 2002. p. 171.
  • Hugo Munsterberg. The Ceramic Art of Japan: A Handbook for Collectors., 1st ed. Rutland, Vermont and Tokyo. p. 204, pl. 134.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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