Iga-style vase

Artist: Takahashi Rakusai III (1898-1976)
Historical period(s)
Showa era, ca. 1940
Shigaraki stoneware clay with wood-ash glaze
Shigaraki ware
H x W x D: 28.2 x 12.4 x 12.1 cm (11 1/8 x 4 7/8 x 4 3/4 in)
Japan, Shiga prefecture, Shigaraki
Credit Line
Gift of Chieko and Tetsuya Ogawa
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Ceramic, Vessel


Japan, Shigaraki ware, Showa era (1926 - 1989), stoneware, WWII-era provenance

Ogawa Ken'ichi, Gifu, Japan, purchased from Takahashi Rakusai [1]

To 1998
Mr. Tetsuya Ogawa, Ogaki, Gifu, Japan, given by Ogawa Ken'ichi, to 1998 [2]

From 1998
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, given by Mrs. Chieko and Mr. Tetsuya Ogawa in 1998


[1] In a conversation in Ogaki, Japan, on November 16, 1998, donor Ogawa Chieko explained that her husband's father, Ogawa Ken'ichi, bought many ceramic pieces from Takahashi Rakusai and gave them to his nine children and to other relatives one year on the anniversary (meinichi) of his mother's death. The Japanese term for such gifts is hikimono. Mrs. Ogawa does not remember which year the vases were distributed as gifts, but it was at least fifty years ago, either during or just after World War II. She does not know how Ogawa Ken'ichi might have known about Takahashi Rakusai, although she recalled that a teacher of tea ceremony based in Nagoya and trained in the Omote Senke school of tea built a tea house in the town in Gifu Prefecture where Ogawa Ken'ichi lived, and she suggested that the tea teacher might have made the introduction.
Mr. and Mrs. Ogawa were my host parents when I was an American Field Service exchange student during the summer of 1961. I saw this vase during a visit to their home in 1997 (according to Provenance Remark 1, Louise Cort, August 13, 1999, in the object record).

[2] See note 1.

Previous Owner(s)

Mr. and Mrs. Tetsuya Ogawa

Published References
  • Shirasu Masako, Yagi Kazuo. Shigaraki Iga. vol. 7 Tokyo. pls. 39-51,49,55.
  • Louise Allison Cort. Clay as Content: The Significance of Shigaraki Clay in Japanese Ceramics. no. 3, December 2003. p. 40, fig. 3.
  • Tomimasu Jun'ichi. Shigaraki-yaki no Kansho [An Appreciation of Shigaraki Ceramics]. Shigaraki, Japan. pp. 98-104.
  • Louise Allison Cort. Shigaraki Potters' Valley., 1st ed. New York and Tokyo. pp. 245,258, 293, 298-99, fig. 51.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Whistler's Neighborhood
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.