Side-handled teapot with design of autumn grasses

Artist: Miura Ken'ya (1821-1889)
Historical period(s)
Meiji era, late 19th century
Buff clay with iron glaze and iron pigment under transparent lead glaze
H x W x D (overall): 6.9 x 15.1 x 15.7 cm (2 11/16 x 5 15/16 x 6 3/16 in)
Japan, Tokyo
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Ceramic, Vessel

Teapot (kyusu)

autumn, grass, iridescence, Japan, Meiji era (1868 - 1912), tea

To 1904
Kosa Honma (1842-1909), to 1904 [1]

From 1904 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), given by Kosa Honma in 1904 [2]

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


[1] See Original Pottery List, L. 131, 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)

Honma Kosa (C.L. Freer source) 1842-1909
Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919


The painted decoration of bush clover and pampas grass, both of which are included among a poetic "seven grasses of autumn," provides seasonal nuance. It could be argued that the curving contour of the reserved white surface suggests the full moon, in which case the theme would be Musashino, a plain in the western Kanto region. This was a reedy hinterland in the poetic imagination, but irreverent critics maintain that it was reallly a mixed hardwood forest managed by locals as a charcoal supply.

Published References
  • Mitake Hideyuki. "尾形乾山を引き継いだ陶芸家たち: 三浦乾也一門 =." Potter of Ogata Kenzan believers: Miura Kenya and his partners. Tokyo. p. 21, No. 30.
  • Richard L. Wilson. The Potter's Brush: The Kenzan Style in Japanese Ceramics. Exh. cat. Washington. cat. 60, p. 144.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
SI Usage Statement

Usage Conditions Apply

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

The information presented on this website may be revised and updated at any time as ongoing research progresses or as otherwise warranted. Pending any such revisions and updates, information on this site may be incomplete or inaccurate or may contain typographical errors. Neither the Smithsonian nor its regents, officers, employees, or agents make any representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the information on the site. Use this site and the information provided on it subject to your own judgment. The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery welcome information that would augment or clarify the ownership history of objects in their collections.

Related Objects