Tea bowl, copy of “Hatsuzakura” by Kakkakusai Sosa (1678-1730)

Artist: Raku Ryōnyū (1756-1834)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, 19th century
Earthenware with red slip under clear lead glaze
Raku ware
H x W: 9.1 x 13.5 cm (3 9/16 x 5 5/16 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

Tea bowl

copy, earthenware, Edo period (1615 - 1868), Japan, Raku ware, tea

To 1911
Y. Fujita and Company, Kyoto, to 1911 [1]

From 1911 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Y. Fujita and Company in 1911 [2]

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


[1] See Original Pottery List, L. 2175, 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)

Y. Fujita and Company (C.L. Freer source)
Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919


This bowl offers an extreme example of the complex relationships that existed between amateur and professional potters. Clumsy details of this bowl such as the shaping of the rim reveal the hand of an amateur, while its shape echoes that of Red Raku tea bowls designed by the archetypal amateur potter, Hon'ami Koetsu. It closely resembles a bowl know as Hatsuzakura (First Cherry), made by the well-known amateur potter Kakkakusai Genso (1678-1730), sixth head of the Omote Senke school of tea (chanoyu) in Kyoto. It also bears the impression of the Raku seal used from 1788 to 1811 by Ryonyu, ninth head of the Raku workshop. Thus this bowl is a professional copy of an amateur's work made in homage to another amateur. It may have been commissioned by the Omote Senke school to commemorate an anniversary related to Kakkakusai. When used for tea, such a bowl could be combined effectively with crisp, orthodox utensils made by professional potters or other craftsmen.

Published References
  • Morgan Pitelka. Handmade Culture: Raku Potters, Patrons, and Tea Practitioners in Japan. Honolulu. pl. 9.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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