Food dish with design of blossoming plum

Artist: Miura Ken'ya (1821-1889)
Historical period(s)
Meiji era, late 19th century
Buff clay with black lead glaze; iron pigment and enamels under transparent lead glaze
H x W x D (overall): 4.2 x 16.6 x 11.4 cm (1 5/8 x 6 9/16 x 4 1/2 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

Individual serving dish (mukozuke)

iridescence, Japan, Meiji era (1868 - 1912), plum blossom

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. 1310, 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 shape and size of this object suggest a dish for an individual food portion, a mukozuke. The boat-shape contour, called funagata, was a popular item in the Kyoto ceramics repertory. The diagonal surface division is a device known as kakiwake, a device that the original Kenzan learned from Oribe ware and textile design. Here, Ken'ya has executed a plum painting in a Rimpa style, and it shows a comic distention typical of the nineteenth century.

Published References
  • Warren E. Cox. The Book of Pottery and Porcelain. 2 vols., New York. vol. 1: p. 236, fig. 426.
  • 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. 18, No. 20.
  • Clare Pollard. Master Potter of Meiji Japan: Makuzu Kozan (1842-1916) and his Workshop. Oxford Oriental Monographs Oxford. p. 53, fig. 30.
  • Richard L. Wilson. The Potter's Brush: The Kenzan Style in Japanese Ceramics. Exh. cat. Washington. cat. 61, p. 145.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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