Square dish with design of landscape in the “splashed ink” style

Artist: Style of Ogata Kenzan (1663-1743) Kyoto workshop, Kenzan style
Historical period(s)
Edo period, early 18th century
Buff clay with iron and ochre pigments under transparent lead glaze
Raku ware, unknown workshop
H x W x D: 3 × 21.7 × 21.9 cm (1 3/16 × 8 9/16 × 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 tray (kakuzara)

Edo period (1615 - 1868), haboku, iridescence, Japan, landscape, Raku ware

To 1906
Bunkio Matsuki (1867-1940), Boston, to 1906 [1]

From 1906 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Bunkio Matsuki in 1906 [2]

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


[1] See Original Pottery List, L. 1488, 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


This is a kakuzara, a flat rectilinear dish with low, vertical edges. It is one of the trademark shapes of the Kenzan workshop. It was probably used for serving sweets or multiple portions of food. The painting subject is a lone fisherman, the poem reads:

His little leaf of a skiff moors in the emerald cove,
Unconcerned with the back and forth of human affairs.

The painting style, characterized by diffuse, washy strokes punctuated by dark accents, is know in Japan as "splashed ink" (haboku). Based on Chinese paintings imported into Japan, especially those by Southern Song dynasty master Yuqian (active 13th century), the style was firmly established by the Muromachi period painter Sesshu (1420-1506).

Published References
  • Richard L. Wilson. The Potter's Brush: The Kenzan Style in Japanese Ceramics. Exh. cat. Washington. cat. 2, p. 62.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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