Vase, one of a pair with F1996.33.2

Artist: Kanzan Denshichi 幹山伝七 (1821-1890)
Historical period(s)
Meiji era, late 19th century
Porcelain with enamels over clear glaze
Kyoto ware
H x W: 32.2 x 14 cm (12 11/16 x 5 1/2 in)
Japan, Kyoto, Gojozaka
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Ceramic, Vessel


Amaterasu, cloud, enamel, Japan, Kyoto ware, landscape, Meiji era (1868 - 1912), mythological subject, porcelain, Shinto, Uzume, WWII-era provenance

To ca. 1985
Unknown English dealer. [1]

From ca. 1985 to 1996
Andy Saylor, Richmond, Virginia, acquired from an unknown English dealer specializing in furniture. [2]

From 1996
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Andy Saylor, Richmond, Virginia. [3]


[1] See Curatorial Remark 5 in the object record.

[2] See note 1.

[3] See note 1. See also Acquisition Consideration Form, copy in object file, Collections Management Office.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Andy Saylor


Rendered in startling, dark tones and framed by golden clouds is a shadowy landscape where Japanese gods and goddesses have gathered to lure the Sun Goddess Amaterasu from the cave where she has hidden herself following a quarrel with her brother, which has plunged the world into darkness. This famous episode in Shinto mythology concludes with a voluptuous young goddess performing a humorous, erotic dance and Amaterasu pushing the boulder aside to see what is happening outside. The painter of this pair of vases has created an unusual version of this scene that continues around both vessels. One shows the young goddess dancing, while the other shows a rooster crowing in response to the first rays of light. The artist, Kanzan Denshichi, who lived in Kyoto, won international awards for his work, which employed traditional Japanese and Chinese decorative techniques with newly introduced European materials and styles.

Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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