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  • Thumbnail for Japanese Ceramics:  Fresh water jar, Iga ware.
    Japanese Ceramics: Fresh water jar, Iga ware. by unknown

    This Fresh water jar ("mizusashi") is a tea ceremony vessel, an example of Iga ware, a style of vessel created in Mie Prefecture and valued highly by tea masters. Approximately 9 or 10 inch tall, wheel thrown using a light stoneware clay body, fired in a wood fueled kiln with resulting flashing coloration and some natural ash glaze deposits. The black lid of the jar is lacquer, rather than clay, as was frequently the case with tea vessels. The soft clay was manipulated, probably while the piece was still on the potter's wheel, deliberately deforming the piece slightly, which has the effect of emphasizing the soft, malleable nature of the material before it is fired.

  • Thumbnail for Writing Utensil Box with Designs of Hatsuse Mountain Landscape and Monkeys
    Writing Utensil Box with Designs of Hatsuse Mountain Landscape and Monkeys

    In this writing box, the tray below originally held brushes and inksticks. The round metal water-dropper that sits in a depression on the upper left side was used to add some water to the inkstone on which the inkstick was rubbed to make ink. The inkstone also sits in a fitted spce, to keep it from moving around as the inkstick is rubbed on it. The trees on the mountain include hinoki (cypress) tha, along with the cherry tree, are sometimes associated with Hatsuse Mountain in classical poetry. A large applied-silver moon looms from behind the mountain in a cloudless sky. The design on the inside of the lid shows a monkey with its baby reaching for the reflection of the thin-slivered moon in water. - abridged from description by Andrew Pekarik.

  • Thumbnail for Tales of Ise, Sagabon edition
    Tales of Ise, Sagabon edition

    Published by Suminokura Soan. "Sagabon versions of Ise Monogatari (Tales of Ise), which were published in ten separate editions, allowed this tenth-century collection of poem tales to assume its place as one of the best-known Japanese classics. The book consists of 125 brief chapters, each usually centering on a poem or two, recounting courtier and various companions. At first glance it may be hard to tell that these volumes were printed with movable wooden type. The connected characters appear to be written with a brush, but close examination reveals that no more than two or three kana characters are connected. The anonymous woodblock-printed illustrations of these Ise editions are derived from hand-drawn manuscripts with limited circulation." - abridged from description by John T Carpenter.

  • Thumbnail for Crane Scroll, Part 1
    Crane Scroll, Part 1 by Koetsu, Hon'ami , Sotatsu, Tawaraya

    The scroll, almost fifteen meters long, was designed to be viewed section by section. Delicate silver cranes dance across a golden shore, gliding through clouds of gold, sometimes in graceful formation, other times frolicking. The lavish gold and silver under painting, attributed to Tawaraya Sotatsu, captures the eye first, however it was not intended to be viewed as a self-sustaining composition, but rather as a background to highlight the darlky inked strokes created by the calligrapher's brush. Boldly inscribed by Hon'ami Koetsu in his distinctive calligraphic style, the texts include famous court verses, one by each of the Thirty-six Immortal Poets 0 famous poets of ancient Japan. - from text by John Carpenter.

  • Thumbnail for Saddle and Stirrups with Design of Reeds and Dew
    Saddle and Stirrups with Design of Reeds and Dew

    As early as the Heian era, warlords owned and used saddles with elegant lacquered designs. This saddle was owned by Hideyoshi. An inscription on the saddle suggests that it is an older structure that was redecorated for Hideyoshi.

  • Thumbnail for Set of armor-back view
    Set of armor-back view

    Set of armor including helmet, chest armor, shoulder, thigh, and arm armor, and shirts. Very well made. From Kyushu. Only the helmet was photographed.

  • Thumbnail for One of the 12 Guardian Generals of Yakushi
    One of the 12 Guardian Generals of Yakushi

    16.5 inches in height. Originally painted; much has worn away. Inlaid eyes. Modern base. Almost a dancing stance, w. left foot partially raised, right hand on hip, left hand extended. The DePauw label identifies it as a Guardian Figure of Shogun Jizo, but this does not make sense; it is clearly not Jizo, as Jizo is a bodhisattva who is shown with a shaved head and dressed as a Buddhist priest; he is not a shogun, and not a guardian figure. It appears rather to be one of the Junishinsho (12 Guardian Generals) of Yakushi, the Buddha of Medicine and Healing. There is one general to guard each of 12 Vows of Healing that Yakushi was believed to have made. The most famous examples of this type of guardian figure are at Shin-Yakushiji in Nara (8th c.), and at Muroji (9th c.)

  • Thumbnail for East Asian Ceramics:  Then and Now, 01 Oribe-ware Ewer.
    East Asian Ceramics: Then and Now, 01 Oribe-ware Ewer. by unknown

    Oribe-ware Ewer, from the early 17th century in Japan, Momoyama Period. The piece is high-fired stoneware, a buff colored body, probably fired in a neutral or oxidizing atmosphere, with the typical Oribe glaze combination of white glaze and a copper green poured on parts of the piece. There is pattern, design, painted on the piece, again, typical of Oribe style wares. The design was painted on the piece with an iron pigment or slip, probably painted on the piece prior to the glaze application. The resulting all-over surface decoration is typical of the exuberant energy of Momoyama art and culture. -- Gift of Robert Allerton, 1959.5 -- This piece was one of ten ceramic pieces in a special exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago, East Asian Ceramics: Then and Now, held July 2 - November 6, 2005. The exhibit was curated by Janice Katz, assistant curator of Japanese Art, and Jay Xu, Pritzker Curator of Asian Art. An overview of the exhibition states, "Contemporary ceramic artists in East Asia continually draw upon their cultures' highly developed traditions. An artist may use a glaze that became popular centuries earlier or experiment with a traditional glaze by changing the resulting color. Contemporary artists also quote wares of the past through form and technique. In this exhibition featuring works from China, Korea, and Japan, pairs of contemporary and premodern objects are on display. In each case, the artist of the contemporary piece consciously adopts aspects of the earlier ware while creating a thoroughly modern work of art."

  • Thumbnail for Japanese ceramics: Food-serving dish with plant and half wheel design, Gray Shino ware.
    Japanese ceramics: Food-serving dish with plant and half wheel design, Gray Shino ware. by unknown

    Food-serving dish with plant and half wheel design, from Mino region of Gifu Prefecture. Simple wheel thrown form squared off while still in wet state. Museum label describes the piece, technically, as stoneware with inlaid slip. Perhaps the decoration was achieved by coating the entire surface with a dark slip (liquid clay) and then cutting the design through the slip coating to reveal the lighter colored clay of the piece, itself, under the slip. Museum purchase, B76P2

  • Thumbnail for Birds and Flowers
    Birds and Flowers by Tohaku, Hasegawa (1539-1610)

    This folding screen, originally the left half of a pair, is considered an early work of the artist Tohaku. Birds and Flowers demonstrates Tohaku's debt to earlier Kano artists and to the painting traditions established by Sesshu Toyo.

  • Thumbnail for Bowl
    Bowl

    Mino ware, Nezumi Shino type.

  • Thumbnail for Four Accomplishments, Right Screen
    Four Accomplishments, Right Screen by Yusho, Kaiho (1533-1615)

    For description of this work, see left screen, soc0006111.

  • Thumbnail for Samurai  Armor II
    Samurai Armor II

    This set of tosei gusoku, said to have been worn by Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543-1616) during his great triumph at the battle of Sekigahara in 1600, was treasured as a symbol of Tokugawa dynastic power. According to shrine records, Ieyasu had the armor made after a dream in which he was Daikokuten, a god associated with weath and war. In Japanese the helmet shape is described as being in the style of a headdress traditionally worn by Daikokuten in sculptural and pictorial representations. The armor became known as the "dream-inspired form" and served as the model for many copies made by succeeding generation of Tokugawa rulers.

  • Thumbnail for One of the 12 Guardian Generals of Yakushi - front right side
    One of the 12 Guardian Generals of Yakushi - front right side

    16.5 inches in height. Originally painted; much has worn away. Inlaid eyes. Modern base. Almost a dancing stance, w. left foot partially raised, right hand on hip, left hand extended. The DePauw label identifies it as a Guardian Figure of Shogun Jizo, but this does not make sense; it is clearly not Jizo, as Jizo is a bodhisattva who is shown with a shaved head and dressed as a Buddhist priest; he is not a shogun, and not a guardian figure. It appears rather to be one of the Junishinsho (12 Guardian Generals) of Yakushi, the Buddha of Medicine and Healing. There is one general to guard each of 12 Vows of Healing that Yakushi was believed to have made. The most famous examples of this type of guardian figure are at Shin-Yakushiji in Nara (8th c.), and at Muroji (9th c.)

  • Thumbnail for One of the 12 Guardian Generals of Yakushi - back right side
    One of the 12 Guardian Generals of Yakushi - back right side

    16.5 inches in height. Originally painted; much has worn away. Inlaid eyes. Modern base. Almost a dancing stance, w. left foot partially raised, right hand on hip, left hand extended. The DePauw label identifies it as a Guardian Figure of Shogun Jizo, but this does not make sense; it is clearly not Jizo, as Jizo is a bodhisattva who is shown with a shaved head and dressed as a Buddhist priest; he is not a shogun, and not a guardian figure. It appears rather to be one of the Junishinsho (12 Guardian Generals) of Yakushi, the Buddha of Medicine and Healing. There is one general to guard each of 12 Vows of Healing that Yakushi was believed to have made. The most famous examples of this type of guardian figure are at Shin-Yakushiji in Nara (8th c.), and at Muroji (9th c.).

  • Thumbnail for Samboin, upper pond garden
    Samboin, upper pond garden

    View along the length of the upper pond of the garden at Samboin, looking from the east end of the pond back to the west.

  • Thumbnail for Katsura Detached Imperial Villa, detail, garden
    Katsura Detached Imperial Villa, detail, garden

    Detail, stone lantern in garden at Katsura. Begun in late 16th c., completed in second quarter of 17th c. (between 1620 and 1642, various dates given by different sources). Begun by Prince Hachijo Toshito, completed by his son, Noritada.

  • Thumbnail for Samboin, pond garden
    Samboin, pond garden

    View along the east-west axis of the pond garden, from the west end of the pond. On the left in the image is the kare sansui garden that runs along the edge of the pond, between the veranda of the Omote shinden and the pond. The rocks in the left foreground are said to represent different characteristics of the flow of the Kamo River.

  • Thumbnail for Covered Dish
    Covered Dish

    Mino ware, Green Oribe type. This covered dish is a product of the Mino multi-chambered or "climbing" kilns, which produced Oribe ceramics characterized by an iridescent green copper glaze and underglaze iron drawing.

  • Thumbnail for Ceramic Jar
    Ceramic Jar

    This jar [tsubo] was of a type of pottery commonly made for utilitarian storage. This example was probably employed as a fresh water jar for the tea ceremony.

  • Thumbnail for Crane scroll, part 3
    Crane scroll, part 3 by Koetsu, Hon'ami , Sotatsu, Tawaraya

    See Crane scroll, part 1 (soc000277)

  • Thumbnail for Tale of Genji Designs on Set of Shelves
    Tale of Genji Designs on Set of Shelves

    This three-tier set of zushidana-type shelves includes a cabinet on the middle level in which the doors swing out and another lower level with a sliding door. The decorative motifs are based on the Heian-period romantic classic, The Tale of Genji. In addition to the lacquer and pulverized stone used in the motif, inlaid mother-of-pearl, gold, silver, and tin are also employed.

  • Thumbnail for Jinbaori
    Jinbaori

    This jinbaori, made of wool, is said to have been owned by Date Masamune, daimyo of Sendai. The jinbaori's purpose was originally functional, being worn over armor for protection against cold and rain. Horizontally centered on the back of this jacket of thin wool is the bamboo and sparrow crest ("mon") of the Date family embroidered in gold.

  • Thumbnail for Horses
    Horses by Hideyori, Kano (d. ca 1576/7)

    A dappled white horse (ema) bucks, head restrained by a bridle tied to steaks in the ground. One half of a set.

  • Thumbnail for Maple Tree and Autumn Plants, Right half
    Maple Tree and Autumn Plants, Right half

    The ambiance in the maple composition is elegantly theatrical with its profusion of colors and diversity of flora, but with the distinctive admixture and reflection evoked by autumn. The flowers below, fragrant olive, cockscomb, bush clover, and chrysanthemum, complement the coloristic array of high autumn created by the individual maple leaves, some still green, some already a rich crimson, and some a desiccated yellow. The screen, with its massive trunk (85 cm across) and gnarled branches, set against a shimmering background of gold, clearly reveals Eitoku's influence in its preoccupation with dramatic visual impact and assertive brushwork. See also the left half.